Silverstone.- Lewis Hamilton set a new track record at the British Grand Prix and extended his record to 91 pole positions on Saturday.
The Briton needs five more wins to match the F1 record for 91 Grand Prix held by Michael Schumacher.
The defending champion is also set to tie the German’s mark with seven world championships.
Hamilton recorded a time of one minute 24.303 seconds at the Silverston circuit, where he holds the record with six wins. “This track is just amazing,” said Hamilton, 35.
“It’s like juggling on a plate.” The Briton was 0.313 seconds faster than his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, and a second better than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. “They were just too fast,” Verstappen said of the Mercedes.
“It only remains to accept it and do the best possible.” Charles Leclerc gave Ferrari a small boost with his fourth place on the grid, ahead of Lando Norris, who could be penalized for not slowing down on a yellow flag during the second half of qualifying, when Hamilton made an unusual mistake.
Hamilton briefly lost control of his vehicle, causing the session to be interrupted shortly after Bottas had set the fastest time.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel struggled and nearly lost his way at the end of Q3, finishing with the 10th fastest time.
Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished 12th, ahead of Racing Point’s last-minute replacement Nico Hulkenberg.
The German lost his F1 seat this year but sat on the car for Mexican Sergio Pérez on Saturday, who was diagnosed with coronavirus after a trip to his native country after his mother had an accident.
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said Perez had the right to travel to Mexico, even though the country has the third highest number of COVID-19 deaths, with nearly 47,000.
“There are no clauses in the contract where you must ask permission to return to your family. Our philosophy is to take all necessary precautions about where we travel, and if we take all those precautions, I am confident that we will not contract the virus, ”said Szafnauer.
“Now we must carry out a forensic process to follow in his footsteps and know how Checo became infected and make sure we cover that situation in the future.”
The fourth race of the season will also take place without fans in the stands due to restrictions related to the coronavirus.
“In that respect it doesn’t feel like the British Grand Prix,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “Obviously the atmosphere is missing.”
Mercedes has won the first three races of the season. Bottas took the opening day in Austria, and Hamilton followed with wins in Austria and Hungary.
Like Austria, Great Britain will host consecutive races at Silverstone.
— AP to eldia.com.do