Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Max Verstappen’s rapid start to the British Grand Prix sprint race was enough to secure him pole position for the main race on Sunday. Lewis Hamilton started the sprint race at the front of the grid but he was not able to overcome a slow start.
17.06pm: So, Verstappen takes P1 in the inaugural Formula One sprint race. He took the lead from Hamilton at lights out and didn’t look back. Now we look forward to tomorrow’s race!
Verstappen wins pole position
4.59pm: VERSTAPPEN WINS THE SPRINT AT SILVERSTONE!
4.57pm: Two laps to go and Verstappen’s looks on course to win the sprint. He’ll be on pole if he can hang on.
4.55pm: “We can see Verstappen has blistering on his front-right [tyre],” say Mercedes. “So do I,” Hamilton responds.
4.52pm: Lap 12 – Hamilton trying to cut the gap to Verstappen as he sets a fastest lap. No additional point available for that in the Sprint.
4.49pm: Lap nine and we’ve just seen some great racing between Ricciardo and Alonso, as they battle for sixth spot. Ricciardo did well to hold him off.
4.46pm: We’re over halfway through – Russell and Sainz are both under investigation after that coming together. Verstappen has increased his lead over Hamilton.
4.43pm: Wow! Sergio Perez spins off the track and drops all the way down to 19th.
4.41pm: Third lap and George Russell and Carlos Sainz had a coming together but are both still going. Russell has dropped to 10th from eighth; Sainz has gone from ninth to 16th.
4.39pm: Alonso gets off to a phenomenal start, as he climbs six places to fifth.
4.37pm: Superb start from Verstappen, as he gets ahead of Hamilton at the first corner. Hamilton tries to put some pressure on, but Verstappen does really well to hold him off.
4.35pm: Lights out!
4.30pm: There is a free choice over tyres for both sprint qualifying and the British Grand Prix, as the formation lap is underway. Bottas is on soft tyres; the rest of the top 10 are on medium.
4.25pm: Five minutes until we’re off at Silverstone.
4.20pm: “We have been missing this for a whole year. I have lost my voice. I am so grateful to see everyone here,” Hamilton said after Friday’s qualifying session.
“I was hopeful that with the great work we have done within the team, the energy of the fans would get us there, so this one is for them.
“That first lap was great and the second was looking better, but I lost the back end through the final corner and my heart was in my mouth as I crossed the line.
“But I could see the crowd and it was really reminiscent of my first pole here in 2007. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. It is incredibly special to do it on home turf. There is no greater feeling.”
4.15pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the British Grand Prix sprint race.
The new format is a 17-lap sprint to the chequered flag with no mandatory pit stops.
The position in which each car finishes the sprint is the place they will start Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton will hope to fend off Max Verstappen to ensure he starts Sunday’s race on pole position.
What is the qualifying sprint race?
Essentially it is a shorter version of the main race with no mandatory pit stops.
It is 100km rather than the 305km race distance used on a Sunday and the results will form the grid for the main Grand Prix.
The starting grid for the sprint race will be decided by a usual qualifying session on Friday afternoon.
The British Grand Prix is the first of three weekends where a sprint race is set to be used.
What are the rules?
The race will be 17 laps at Silverstone and is expected to last around 30 minutes in total.
Pirelli will provide three options for tyres with all drivers free to use whatever compound they wish.
The session will be timed out after 60 minutes and has a maximum time period of 90 minutes if there is a red flag.
There will also be points awarded in the sprint qualifying race.
The winner will walk away with three points, the runner-up two points and third place earning one.
No points are available for the fastest lap in the sprint qualifying race.
The race will take place from 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon with the weather forecast looking like hot and sunny weather with mild temperatures.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will both look to pick up important points this weekend as they battle it out for the championship.
The Red Bull driver is currently 32 points clear of his Mercedes rival as he looks to end their era of dominance in the sport.
Traditionally Silverstone has been a circuit that has suited Hamilton and the Silver Arrows and they are in desperate need of a strong weekend.
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