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2013 British Grand Prix – Qualifying

HAMILTON SETS FASTEST EVER LAP OF NEW SILVERSTONE ON P ZERO WHITE

Silverstone, June 29, 2013 – Local hero Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position at his home grand prix with a time of 1m29.607s: the fastest Formula One lap ever seen at the new Silverstone, which was remodelled in 2010. The Mercedes driver set his 28th pole position – bringing him to just one pole off Fangio’s total of 29 – on the Pirelli P Zero White medium tyres, nominated together with the P Zero Orange hard tyres this weekend.

Following a wet practice session yesterday morning and drying weather in the afternoon, today’s action was dry from start to finish, with 20 degrees centigrade ambient temperature and 32 degrees centigrade of track temperatures. Similar conditions are expected for the race tomorrow.

The majority of the top runners used the hard compound to get through Q1, with the exception of the Mercedes drivers, who opted for the medium tyres to set the two fastest times in the session with Hamilton leading his team mate Nico Rosberg. All the drivers used the medium tyre in Q2, with the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finishing in one-two formation.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Lotus’s Romain Grosjean were the only drivers to start the final top 10 Q3 shoot out on hard tyres, but they both set their fastest times with the medium compound. All the drivers completed two runs in Q3, with plenty of action from start to finish.

The final free practice session this morning was briefly interrupted after the left-rear tyre on Sergio Perez’s McLaren deflated a quarter of an hour into the session. This was caused by a cut in the sidewall in the direction of rotation, and is entirely unrelated to the new bonding process that his been introduced for this race. Rosberg was quickest in FP3 on the medium tyre with a time of 1m31.487s.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The wet conditions yesterday morning meant that the teams had to work hard in the morning to make up for time lost gathering data on the slick tyres. All of them managed to find plenty of pertinent information: vital not only for qualifying today but the race tomorrow as well, which we expect to be dry. During the final free practice session this morning we saw a deflation on the rear left tyre of Sergio Perez. First findings show that this was unequivocally caused by a cut in the inner sidewall: something went into the tyre, pierced it, and then came out again, in the direction of travel. Whether that was a piece of debris or the edge of a kerb is hard to say at the moment and it is important to point out that this incident was unrelated to any of the delamination issues we have had in the past. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for sealing a great pole position with a stunning lap at his home grand prix. Yesterday’s rain meant the fans didn’t get a chance to see much on-track activity but today was action from start to finish. We’re looking forward to an exciting grand prix tomorrow with between two and three pit stops per car if conditions stay largely the same.”

The Pirelli mystery strategy predictor:

The quickest strategy for tomorrow’s race seems to be a two-stopper: assuming, of course, that conditions remain dry. Start on the medium tyre, change to the medium on lap 17, and then to the hard tyre on lap 35.
If the ambient and track temperatures rise (which increases wear and degradation) a three-stop strategy might just be quicker. Start on the medium and then change to the medium again on lap 15. Change to the hard on lap 28 and a final stop for the hard on lap 41.

Fastest compounds in FP3:

1.  Rosberg  1m31.487s  Medium Used
2.  Hamilton  1m31.633s  Medium New
3.  Vettel  1m32.037s  Medium New

Top 10 tyre use:

 Hamilton  Medium  1m29.607s
 Rosberg  Medium  1m30.059s
 Vettel  Medium  1m30.211s
 Webber  Medium  1m30.220s
 Di Resta  Medium  1m30.736s
 Ricciardo  Medium  1m30.757s
 Sutil  Medium  1m30.908s
 Grosjean  Medium  1m30.995s
 Raikkonen  Medium  1m30.962s
 Alonso  Medium  1m30.979s