Mercedes AMG F1's Lewis Hamilton came out on top of a thrilling three-way fight to claim pole position for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone by just 0.044 seconds over title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. Hamilton's lap of 1min25.892sec over the 18-turn, 5.891km Silverstone circuit equated to a stunning average speed of 246.9km/h. Perhaps even more stunning was that both Vettel and teammate Raikkonen ran him so close, with the Finn qualifying third, just 0.098 seconds off the pole position time.
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was 0.325 seconds behind in fourth place ahead of the Red Bull-Renaults of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo who were 0.710 and 1.207 seconds off in fith and sixth, respectively.
BEST OF THE REST
Behind the 'big three' teams, Haas-Ferrari's Kevin Magnussen was seventh, 1.352 seconds off pole position. His teammate Romain Grosjean was just over two-tenths of a second behind.
Alfa Romeo Sauber-Ferrari's Charles Leclerc continued to impress in his debut season with a lap that put him in ninth place, 1.987 seconds behind pole position. Force India-Mercedes' equally impressive Esteban Ocon completed the top ten with a lap that that was 2.302 seconds behind pole position.
THE HEAT IS ON
An uncharacteristically hot British summer led to track temperatures just over 50 degrees centigrade at Silverstone and indications are that similar weather conditions will prevail on raceday. Tyre life is expected to play a fairly big role in deciding the outcome of the race, particularly as Mercedes and Ferrari appear to be so evenly matched in terms of performance.