F1 2020: Starting grid and race preview for British Grand Prix

By Sports Desk August 01, 2020

Lewis Hamilton will once again start from the front of the grid as he goes in search of a third straight win in 2020 at the British Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion posted a new lap record at Silverstone to finish Q3 in front of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who is the only other driver to record a victory so far this year.

It will be the 71st edition of the famous race - seeing it move out of a tie with the Italian Grand Prix for most appearances on the Formula One calendar - and Mercedes are chasing a seventh win since 2013 at the track.

No driver has done so more often at the venue than Hamilton, with six to his name. He will be a red-hot favourite to add to that tally on Sunday and, in the process, extend his advantage in the drivers' standings.

Can anyone not named Bottas possibly deny the Briton yet another home triumph?


WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

There were two battles going on during qualifying. While the Mercedes duo contested pole, the rest battled it out to decide the order behind the obvious front row.

Hamilton did have cause for concern when he spun in Q2, yet recovered impressively to set a new lap record in the next session - a time he then bettered on his final attempt as he finished 0.313 seconds clear of Bottas.

Worryingly for those hoping to see another team mount a challenge, Max Verstappen was over a second adrift in third place in his Red Bull, with team-mate Alex Albon struggling to 12th.

Ferrari received a much-needed boost as Charles Leclerc claimed fourth place, though Sebastian Vettel's struggles continued. The German was slowest of the group involved in Q3 after having his fastest time deleted and will start the race on the softer tyres compared to his team-mate, too.

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were fifth and seventh respectively for McLaren, Racing Point's Lance Stroll splitting the pair. Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg - summoned to make a comeback at short notice to stand in for Sergio Perez, who tested positive for COVID-19 - will start from 13th position.


THE STARTING GRID 

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5. Lando Norris (McLaren) 6. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
7. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) 8. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
9. Esteban Ocon (Renault) 10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 
11. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 12. Alex Albon (Red Bull)
13. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point) 14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 16.  Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
17. Romain Grosjean (Haas) 18. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri)
19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)  20. George Russell (Williams)

BRITISH GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Hamilton clearly relishes the chance to drive in his own back yard. While there will be no crowd to cheer him on due to these unprecedented times, he is racing for the chance of yet more history.

A 91st career pole has him primed to break clear of a tie with Alain Prost for the most victories by a driver at a home race. In terms of the season as a whole, Mercedes are turning the constructors' title into a procession, such is their complete dominance.

"I guess we're not making many new friends," team principal Toto Wolff said afterwards. Of course, it is all about gathering points to win the prizes, rather than a popularity contest, but the rest of the paddock should be seriously concerned by what they have seen from the Silver Arrows so far.

Still, the most successful team historically at Silverstone has been Ferrari, albeit they seem a way off competing this time. The Scuderia have recorded just one podium finish in the opening three races, their worst start to a campaign since 2014.


WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID

Lewis Hamilton (pole): "Valtteri was pushing me right to the end. It was a real struggle out there. We had that spin, I was struggling through the first section. I managed to compose myself. The first Q3 lap was clean and the second was even better. We're still powering ahead, we're not resting on the performance that we have, we're trying to push the boundaries and the limits and that's the most impressive thing about this team."

Valtteri Bottas (2nd): "For me, the balance was shifting more and more towards oversteer as the session went on. Maybe the track temperature was getting high, I don't know. He [Hamilton] had a great lap in the end, a better lap than mine. It's still very close between us in the championship points, so of course I'm going to do everything I can and of course will look overnight with the engineers what we can do and if there’s anything different I can do. Last year [Hamilton won from second] with a pretty different strategy to mine [from pole]."

Max Verstappen (3rd): "I had a pretty good qualifying lap and starting third gives us the chance to fight for a good race result. We just hope to have a clean start and from there onwards I just try to do the best I can in the car and if that is just try to follow them a bit, we can be happy with that and score some points."

 

Lando Norris (5th): "It was very difficult with the wind – the cars are so sensitive. I'm very happy – it was better than I thought I could do. I think we out-qualified a few cars that are quicker than us, but that is only going to make Sunday's race more difficult. We have to convert it into a good result at my home race."

Sebastian Vettel (10th): "I struggled to find the rhythm. The car was not too bad, but it didn’t fit me. We made it to Q3, but with the wrong tyre, and then we didn’t make enough progress in Q3, so not a good day. We have to start with the soft tyre, which is probably not good news. Nevertheless, I’ll try everything I can, we’ll see what we could get."

Nico Hulkenberg (13th): "I feel there was more potential and I didn't get everything, but given the circumstances it is also very hard. I don't know if you can expect to get 100 per cent from the car. We were so close to making it to Q3, and I'm happy with that considering I've come in from the cold this weekend! It's a big ask after eight months away to come back and jump into a completely different environment – and into a Formula One car I've never driven before and immediately perform with a challenging circuit and conditions."


CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 63
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 58
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 33
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 26
5= Alex Albon (Red Bull) - 22
5= Sergio Perez (Racing Point) - 22

Constructors 

1. Mercedes – 121
2. Red Bull – 55
3. McLaren - 41
4. Racing Point – 40
5. Ferrari – 27

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  • MotoGP 2020: Starting grid and preview for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix MotoGP 2020: Starting grid and preview for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix

    Maverick Vinales has another golden opportunity to put himself firmly in the MotoGP title picture when he starts on pole at Misano on Sunday. 

    Vinales was on pole for the San Marino Grand Prix last time out but was unable to convert that position into a victory, finishing down in sixth. 

    The Spaniard is 18 points adrift of Andrea Dovizioso in a wide-open fight to replace the injured Marc Marquez as world champion. 

    However, he is in the prime spot to vault up the standings after an error by Francesco Bagnaia gave him pole for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix. 

    Yet the owner of the lap record at Misano cannot afford to take anything for granted ahead of what looks set to be a fascinating fight for the chequered flag.

    WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

    Bagnaia should have been celebrating a maiden MotoGP pole - and another Misano lap record - having smashed the previous mark in FP3. 

    He crossed the line on his final flying lap in one minute and 30.973 seconds, a time that would have seen him top the timesheets. 

    However, he crucially exceeded the track limits on the final turn, an infraction that saw his lap struck off and both pole position and the record handed to Vinales.

    Vinales will have Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo for company on the front row, with Bagnaia dropping to fifth as a result of his error. 

    Championship leader Dovizioso heads the fourth row, with Franco Morbidelli - winner of the San Marino Grand Prix - sandwiched between Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci on the third row. 

    THE STARTING GRID

    1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha), 2. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), 3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
    4. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), 5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), 6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
    7. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha), 8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha), 9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
    10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), 11. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), 12. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
    13. Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), 14. Johann Zarco (Avintia), 15. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
    16. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), 17. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda), 18. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
    19. Bradley Smith (Aprilia), 20. Tito Rabat (Avintia)

    EMILIA ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

    The searing pace displayed by Bagnaia will be a topic of discussion despite his phenomenal last flying lap counting for nothing. 

    He and team-mate Miller will surely pose a significant threat to Vinales, though Quartararo is concerned about some of his title rivals positioned further back on the starting grid. 

    Joan Mir of Suzuki trails Dovizioso by 16 points, but he produced a disappointing display in Q2 and starts 11th. However, with Quartararo branding the Suzuki "a perfect bike", a charge through the field from Mir is not out of the question.

    "Yes, I'm worried because they are fast in the straight, they are fast in acceleration to overtake people, they are so fast," Quartararo said on Thursday.

    WHAT THE RIDERS SAID

    Maverick Vinales (pole): "This weekend I tried to work always with a race setting. We make an improvement. Last weekend the bike always feels good without fuel but with fuel on the race I struggle a lot. This weekend we work a lot and it seems that we make an improvement. We wish it will work for the race."

    Jack Miller (2nd): "When we got to Q2 I only had one tyre, so it was kind of a one-shot wonder. Anyway, we made it, not a bad qualifying, I was lucky to get the two off Pecco [Bagnaia]."

    Fabio Quartararo (3rd): "Feeling great to be on the front row, that is really important. Our race pace is looking good. I'm happy because we have a good base for tomorrow."

    CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

    Riders

    1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 76
    2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 70
    3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 64
    4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) 60
    5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 58

    Teams

    1. Petronas Yamaha 127
    2. Monster Energy Yamaha 116
    3. Ducati 101
    4. Suzuki Ecstar 100
    5. Pramac Racing 97

  • Bagnaia hands second successive Misano pole to Vinales with costly late error Bagnaia hands second successive Misano pole to Vinales with costly late error

    Maverick Vinales claimed his second successive pole position at Misano as an error from Francesco Bagnaia saw him miss out on the front row in a dramatic qualifying session for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix.

    Bagnaia, who smashed the Misano lap record in third practice, found searing pace as the Pramac Racing rider attempted to deny Vinales.

    He crossed the line in one minute and 30.973 seconds, which would have seen him take a first career pole and set the first 1:30 lap at the Marco Simoncelli circuit.

    However, his lap was immediately expunged as Bagnaia exceeded the track limits on the final turn, handing pole to Vinales after his lap record of 1:31.077.

    Bagnaia dropped to fifth, with Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo completing the front row behind Vinales.

    The KTMs of Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder were fourth and sixth respectively, while championship leader Andrea Dovizioso will have work to do to hold on to his six-point lead over Quartararo.

    Dovizioso was 10th behind Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci, the fourth row completed by Joan Mir and Takaaki Nakagami.

    LCR Honda's Nakagami went off at turn 15 in FP4 and repeated that error in Q2, wrecking his second bike of the race week and leaving him to settle for 12th on the grid.

    Provisional classification

    1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 1:31.077s
    2. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.076s
    3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) +0.145s
    4. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.231s
    5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) +0.236s
    6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.312s
    7. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.359s
    8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +0.489s
    9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +0.497s
    10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +0.504s
    11. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.540s
    12. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +1.207s

     

     

  • MotoGP 2020: Marquez stand-in Bradl to sit out Emilia-Romagna GP MotoGP 2020: Marquez stand-in Bradl to sit out Emilia-Romagna GP

    Repsol Honda rider Stefan Bradl will miss the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix because of an arm injury.

    Bradl has filled in for Marc Marquez - the six-time world champion who broke an arm in the MotoGP season opener at Jerez - but is battling ongoing issues in his own right arm.

    The German competed in the first practice session at Misano but was 1.3 seconds adrift of Fabio Quartararo, who set the pace with a time of one minute and 31.271 seconds.

    Following discussions with Honda, Bradl will sit out the rest of the race weekend.

    "Unfortunately, I am still having problems with my right arm and I am unable to ride in a safe and consistent way," Bradl said.

    "I spoke with my doctor and we performed a small operation to clean the nerve before this weekend, but when they opened the arm they saw the situation was more complicated than they first thought.

    "I came to Misano with the intention of racing because my doctor told me it would be okay to race. But in this situation, I do not feel I can ride safely over a whole race, together with HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] we have decided to take the rest of the week to recover before Barcelona."

    FP2 saw Brad Binder of KTM lead the way with a lap of 1:31.628.

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