In the cooler conditions, Mercedes headed the field in final practice, with Bottas looking the more composed of the two drivers. Roll on qualifying and that trend continued, as Hamilton even uncharacteristically spun in Q2, wrecking a set of tyres and having to run a second time. He did manage to make it through on the preferred medium compound though as did his team mate so both start on that tyre. That left the top 10 shootout and Bottas headed into it as favourite but couldn’t get close to Hamilton when it mattered. The reigning world champion put in another of his stunning qualifying performances to set a new track record in grabbing pole by three tenths, the seventh time he has started P1 at his home race.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st, 1:24.303
“This feeling never gets old, that’s for sure! We made some changes to the car going into qualifying and it felt worse, so it was a real struggle out there in the first two sessions. At this track, there can be a headwind, tailwind and crosswind all at different parts of the circuit, so it’s like juggling balls whilst you are on a moving plate. Qualifying is a lot about building confidence and after that spin in Q2, I had to take some deep breaths, compose myself and mentally reset – especially knowing Valtteri was putting in fast lap after fast lap. Q3 started off well, the first