With a freshly inked contract extension in his back pocket, an inspired Valtteri Bottas got the bit between his teeth to beat Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position, as super sub Nico Hulkenberg took a remarkable third for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The Finn set the pace in every single segment of qualifying, but was on the backfoot after the first runs in Q3 as Hamilton sauntered to the top of the timesheets. But Bottas refused to be rattled and while Hamilton improved again on his next effort, this time the Finn had an answer.
This was his 13th career pole position and sets him up nicely for the second successive race at Silverstone, having suffered the misery of a tyre deflation last time out when running second, with the Finn likely to be buoyed by the fact he has won the last two races he has started from P1.
But the most impressive performance came from pink car of Nico Hulkenberg. The German was parachuted in to replace Sergio Perez, following the Mexican’s positive test for Covid 19, last weekend but failed to take the race start because of an engine issue. This weekend has been much smoother, with Hulkenberg comfortably beating regular race driver and team mate Stroll in all segments of qualifying.