British claim one-two-three as George Russell beats Lewis Hamilton to pole at Silverstone

Geroge Russell tops the podium alongside Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris after qualifying at Silverstone
Geroge Russell (centre) tops the podium alongside Lewis Hamilton (left) and Lando Norris after qualifying at Silverstone - Getty Images/Vince Mignott

It has been 56 years since three British drivers last qualified in the top three spots for a Formula One grand prix. In what were truly the glory years for British motor racing, Jim Clark claimed pole position for the 1968 South African Prix at Kyalami, just ahead of compatriots Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. Those were the days when British drivers were battling it out for wins and championships every year.

Could we be about to enter another golden era? At a cold, wet Silverstone on Saturday, George Russell edged out his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris to claim the top three spots for Sunday’s British Grand Prix, sending the 140,000 fans in attendance absolutely wild. With a fourth British driver, Ferrari academy product Ollie Bearman, joining the grid next year, these are exciting times for British grand prix fans.

Hamilton, of course, is already a seven-time world champion. But he has never had so many of his compatriots in and around him. There is a very real prospect Hamilton, Russell and Norris could be duking it out for race wins for at least the next 18 months.

Mercedes’s recent improvement has been stunning. This was the team’s first one-two since Brazil 2022, when Russell took his maiden grand prix win. They may not have to wait so long for the next one. Mercedes had the fastest car in Montreal, too, and the signs are they could now be muscling into that top bracket alongside Red Bull and McLaren.

“The car was insane,” admitted Russell after snatching top spot from his team-mate with his final lap in Q3 by one tenth of a second. “It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had driving this circuit.”

George Russell racing at Silverstone
Russell on his way to pole at Silverstone - Shutterstock/Peter Powell

Hamilton looked rather miffed to have been pipped for pole. He now trails Russell 10-2 in qualifying outings this season, a source of considerable pain one suspects. But he was gracious enough to congratulate his team-mate and thank his team. “Three Brits in the top three is incredible,” he said. “Congrats to George. We definitely didn’t expect to be front row so this is huge for the team. I feel really confident in the car tomorrow.”

At 39, Hamilton is considerably older than Russell and Norris. But he does have one thing they do not: a win at the British Grand Prix. In fact, he has eight of them, including that famous one in the wet in 2008 when he lapped most of the field. With further rain forecast for Sunday, he will be licking his lips. “When it’s wet, that is probably when I am the happiest,” he admitted.

Norris had no complaints with P3. He ran wide at Turn 14 in his final run, but was already a tenth down by that point and did not think he would have been able to take pole.

The bigger surprise was Verstappen, who was only able to take fourth on the grid, four tenths off the pace set by Russell. It may have had something to do with a damaged floor after he ran wide at Copse in Q1, skidding across the gravel trap. But the feeling grows that Red Bull’s development curve has plateaued and Verstappen is having to push harder than ever to keep his nose in front.

The pressure is starting to tell. At Imola, Montreal and again in Barcelona the Dutchman won races despite not having the quickest car. In Austria last weekend, he took Norris out when the Briton tried to pass him for the lead. It is going to be fascinating to see what he does from fourth on the grid on Sunday. Once again, Red Bull do not have the luxury of being able to split their strategies, with Sergio Perez starting 19th.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell shake hands
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Russell celebrate taking the first two positions on the grid for the British GP - PA/David Davies

The Mexican has endured a miserable time since signing a contract extension in May. And he had another shocker here, beaching his car in the gravel trap on the outside of Copse. “I’m stuck,” he told his team, forlornly. At this rate, he may be out of a drive by the summer. The sight of Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner shaking his head on the pitwall, clearly exasperated, did not bode well for him.

In fairness, the conditions were tricky. Heavy rain before the session meant everyone started out on intermediate tyres. But with the track rapidly drying, and the wind picking up, it was easy to make mistakes. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc failed to make it to the top-10 shoot-out. The Scuderia’s progress has stalled in recent races. Will Hamilton be regretting his decision to jump ship to Maranello next year?

For now, he is in the right place; in a competitive car, chasing his ninth British Grand Prix win and his first in F1 since Saudi Arabia 2021.

What a race we have in prospect. Three Brits battling at the front of their home race. What price a clean sweep of the podium? Clark, Hill and Stewart could not manage to do so in South Africa in 1968. Tragically, Clark lost his life a few months later in a crash in a Formula 2 race at the Hockenheimring.

But three British drivers did finish in the top three spots in the penultimate round of that year’s championship at Watkins Glen, New York, Stewart winning from Hill with John Surtees third. It remains the last time it happened. Could it happen once again on Sunday? A sell-out crowd at Silverstone will be willing them on.

British 1-2-3 on grid for Silverstone: As it happened

04:47 PM BST

Thanks for joining us today

Tomorrow is all set to be a cracker, whether it rains or not. The race begins at 3pm BST so we will be here from around 1.30 with all the build-up, live updates and reaction from Silverstone.

04:43 PM BST

Another Brit (even though he represents Thailand) in the top 10, too

Albon finished ninth. That would not have been so remarkable last year but Williams have not been quite as good over one lap in 2024. Logan Sargeant with a handy 12th, too.

04:40 PM BST

Russell pretty pleased with that pole... fair enough

Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 6, 2024 Mercedes' George Russell celebrates after qualifying in pole position
Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain - July 6, 2024 Mercedes' George Russell celebrates after qualifying in pole position

04:34 PM BST

Watch: The moment Russell took a home pole at Silverstone

04:33 PM BST

Norris speaks about his P3

Norris says he ran wide in turn 14 but that he was already a tenth down by that point so does not think he would have been able to take pole position. He is not surprised they are quick this weekend.

They seem very quick all weekend. There or thereabouts but I just didn’t deliver.

04:32 PM BST

Hamilton speaks

To be on the front row is massive for our team. So many of them are here this weekend with their families. When it’s wet that is probably when I am the happiest. Super-confident in those first conditions. It got a little bit harder when t got to Q3, just with the balance.

I think I was cautious with my set-up more thinking to have a nice balance in the race rather than all for one particular lap. I do think that the car will be good tomorrow.

04:31 PM BST

Russell on his hopes and the car’s race pace tomorrow

I think realistically we know we are probably a tenth or two behind Lando and Max but we know we’ve got a fight on our hands. We are probably on course for another Montreal-style race where it’s going to be very changeable. Tomorrow is where the points are scored but we are [in the fight for victory].

04:29 PM BST

More from Russell in the post-race press conference

This is definitely one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a Saturday afternoon. The car was just insane... without doubt one of the best feelings I’ve had on this circuit. Crossing the line and seeing my name P1. We couldn’t even have dreamt of [this earlier in the season].

It really came into its own today. These conditions really got the car into a perfect window. There’s no guarantees for tomorrow but we really feel like we’re riding this wave at the moment. It was just on rails the car... I just felt so confident. in Q1 and Q2 I felt like I was about to get knocked out at various points. Going into Q3 was the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a qualifying session.

04:27 PM BST

Verstappen’s message after the race

“I gave it everything. Guys, thank you very much for trying to fix it (the damage) as much as we could, yeah great effort. Just really unlucky we got off there, with the rain.”

04:24 PM BST

George Russell speaks after his third F1 pole

Come on! What a feeling, what a feeling. At the start of this year we couldn’t have dreamt of being on the front row here. The car at the moment is feeling so, so  good. It really came alive in quali. We’re riding this wave at the moment, absolutely buzzing but eyes on tomorrow, we’ve got a race to win. I’m so excited right now. The crowd give us all so much energy, the three of us I don’t think Silverstone could have dreamt of. We can’t wait for the race tomorrow.

04:22 PM BST

Lewis Hamilton on his front-row start

He says he had a bit of time in his pocket so couldn’t quite extract the maximum.

Three Brits in the top three is incredible. A huge congratulations to George... we definitely didn’t expect to be front row this weekend but this is huge for the team. The car has felt so good here. I think the car felt great, it was just about getting the tyre temperatures in the right place and sealing the deal when you had the time. I feel with the conditions we have we can work together to keep Lando behind [tomorrow].

04:21 PM BST

Norris reacts to third place

He doesn’t seem to disappointed. I think he knows his car will be quick in race trim, probably faster than the Mercedes.

I was [in with a chance of pole] until the end. I am happy with P3. Three Brits lock out the top three. Good laps by George and Lewis both. A little mistake on my part on the end but P3 is still good. I am excited, it’s going to be a good race. We’re quick, I can bring the fight to George and to Lewis. We’re going to have some good battles.

04:14 PM BST

Q3 - Classification

  1. RUS 1:25.819

  2. HAM +0.171

  3. NOR +0.211

  4. VER +0.384

  5. PIA +0.418

  6. HUL +0.519

  7. SAI +0.690

  8. STR +0.766

  9. ALB +0.821

  10. ALO +1.098

04:12 PM BST


“Race for the win tomorrow!” he says, whilst elated on the radio. It’s an all-British 1-2-3 but not perhaps in the order we expected a couple of hours ago. Great lap from Russell. Verstappen nearly four-tenths off the pace and in fourth.

04:11 PM BST

Q3 - The McLarens don’t have anything!

Piastri has taken the chequered flag... Norris in the pits... it’s Russell on pole!

04:10 PM BST

Q3 - Hamilton goes fastest!

Russell is improving... by enough? Yes! 0.171sec faster than Hamilton. What about the McLarens?

04:10 PM BST

Q3 - It will be Piastri the last man across the line

Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris Russell and then Sainz.

Verstappen makes a bit of a mess of the first sector and he’s already 0.142sec down after one sector... might he struggle to keep fifth?

Hulknberg with the fastest first sector. Verstappen improves in the middle sector... but only goes fourth!

04:07 PM BST

Q3 - Drivers come out for their final runs

We should see some improvement in the track and thus the times. Russell, then, is not safe for the front row. The order can and probably will change again.

04:05 PM BST

Is Verstappen’s damage hindering him?

He made a small mistake on his hot lap. Would that have cost him three tenths? He’s closer to Hulkenberg behind him than the pole sitter. I am not sure he can find the time he needs here with four decent cars ahead of him. You never know, though.

04:04 PM BST

Q3 - Top 10 after the first runs

  1. RUS 1:26.024

  2. NOR +0.006

  3. HAM +0.172

  4. PIA +0.213

  5. VER +0.326

  6. HUL +0.377

  7. SAI +0.485

  8. STR +0.774

  9. ALO +0.893

  10. ALB +0.984

04:03 PM BST

Q3 - Russell goes fastest by 0.006sec!

It’s a British 1-2-3! Sainz didn’t have a good end to his lap and is now seventh.

04:02 PM BST

Q3 - Norris beats them both!

Two tenths faster than Piastri. Hamilton with the fastest first sector but cannot impress so much in sector two. He might be on the second row here. No, the first row, just ahead of Piastri!

But Russell is on a fine lap!

04:02 PM BST

Q3 - Norris, Piastri and Verstappen very close in S1

And Sainz gets in on the act, too.

Verstappen will be the first of them to cross the line. It’s a 1:26.350...

What does Piastri do? He’s fastest by a tenth!

03:59 PM BST

Q3 begins!

10 drivers, it’s the pole shoot-out.

03:58 PM BST

Norris said Hamilton “aggressively swerved” towards him in Q2

Hard to tell from the replay we just saw but it was close. It has not yet been noted by the stewards.

03:56 PM BST

Verstappen suffering damage from that Q1 excursion apparently

The team were working on it between sessions and indeed do again now.

03:54 PM BST

Q2 ends - Norris fastest

  1. NOR 1:26.559

  2. RUS +0.164

  3. ALO +0.171

  4. PIA +0.174

  5. HAM +0.211

  6. VER +0.237

  7. SAI +0.284

  8. HUL +0.288

  9. ALB +0.374

  10. STR +0.379 

  11. LEC

  12. SAR

  13. TSU

  14. ZHO

  15. RIC

03:51 PM BST

Q2 - It is a good final sector for Verstappen... not long left now

It’s the fastest of anyone but only sixth. Is that going to be enough? Probably, just about. Leclerc isn’t though! Stroll improves and Leclerc is out as he has already taken the chequered flag! A bad day for Ferrari, well one of them so far.

03:49 PM BST

Q2 - Verstappen starts his flying lap

He’s 10th so cannot afford to mess it up. SO far so  good in sector one. Piastri moves into second. Leclerc only into sevemth. Not brilliant.

After two sectors Verstappen is 0.289sec off Norris which isn’t too bad. Needs a decent final sector.

03:47 PM BST

Q2 - Verstappen is still in the pits

Did he think he was safe? He does leave the pits so should get a lap in but can not really afford any mistakes. Norris now leads Russell and Hamilton. Hulkenberg now fourth.

Stroll, Leclerc, Zhou, Tsunoda and Ricciardo in the drop zone. 

03:46 PM BST

Q2 - Hulkenberg on the pace

Just 0.016sec off Piastri’s time after two sectors. He crosses the line to go fastest by just under a tenth of a second. Nice lap. He was in the mix in practice yesterday although you are never sure how seriously to take that. The answer was: pretty seriously.

03:44 PM BST

Q2 - Looking like a good lap from Piastri

Indeed it is, he moves fastest by two tenths. Russell still in the drop zone but has just left the pit lane.

03:42 PM BST

Q2 - Verstappen up into second

But that soon becomes third when Sainz posts a 1:27.149 to go fastest,

03:42 PM BST

Q2 - Alonso moves fastest

RUS, TSU, ZHO, LEC and RIC in the drop zone as it stands.

03:41 PM BST

Q2 - Top 10

  1. NOR

  2. SAI

  3. HAM

  4. ALB

  5. STR

  6. PIA

  7. ALO

  8. HUL

  9. VER

03:41 PM BST

Q2 - Hamilton moves into third on his second time lap

Then Albon slots into fourth behind him.

03:40 PM BST

Q2 - Norris moves fastest

Probably the favourite for pole. It remains difficult to get a read on Verstappen all weekend. I am not sure the pace is guaranteed. It is probably in there but to beat Norris? It would take a good lap I think.

03:39 PM BST

Q2 - It’s a good but not fantastic lap from Verstappen

He goes fourth and that soon becomes fifth as Sainz moves fastest, 0.259sec faster than his old team-mate Verstappen. Hamilton’s lap is definitely not great, though. Eighth currently.

03:38 PM BST

Q2 - Again, the track evolution will be huge here

Everyone out on the soft tyres. Albon goes into the 1:27s early on with his first timed lap of the session and that is pretty handy I think. Alonso then beats that by 0.331sec

03:34 PM BST

Q2 begins!

It’s dry out there currently. 15 minutes of the session, 10 drivers to go through. A big queue at the end of the pit lane.

03:33 PM BST

An incident involving the Aston Martins...

...will be investigated after the session. It was in the pit lane. Not sure what it was. It seems Stroll went through a red light in the pit lane. That is going to be a slam-dunk penalty.

03:29 PM BST

Q1 - Classification

These drivers are through.

  1. HAM 1:29.547

  2. RUS +0.559

  3. LEC +0.949

  4. SAI +01.010

  5. PIA +1.348

  6. TSU +1.447

  7. ALB +1.588

  8. ZHO +1.643

  9. ALO +1.717

  10. RIC +1.744

  11. VER +1.795

  12. STR +1.863

  13. NOR +2.049

  14. SAR +2.061

  15. HUL +2.382

03:28 PM BST

Q1 ends - Hamilton fastest

Eliminated: BOT, MAG, OCO, PER, GAS

03:27 PM BST

Q1 - Lap times dropping rapidly now

Hamilton goes fastest by 1.3sec. Russell into second. Could Verstappen be in danger here again? He’s in ninth. I am not sure. I don’t think there are enough drivers below him improving, and that is assuming he himself doesn’t improve, which he does. But not massively. Should be enough to see him through, however.

03:26 PM BST

Q1 - Actually, the rain has eased off

And drivers are improving... Verstappen is 15th but he is one of them and goes third.

Sainz goes second. Albon, Perez, Tsunoda, Gasly and Sargeant are in the drop zone as it stands. 

03:24 PM BST

Q1 - Verstappen goes through the gravel

He scoots through it and carries on going. He’s in 11th so should be OK. But might not be. The rain has come... Sainz needs to find a lap time too. And he is doing so, I think. He goes ninth! I think that confirms that Verstappen will be through as nobody will be able to improve here. Leclerc knocks Verstappen down to 14th but that is surely as low as he will go...

03:23 PM BST

Q1 - Bottas goes fastest by nearly five seconds

So, yeah, the track is a bit faster than it was 10 minutes ago... this could be last man over the line. Hulkenberg does get a lap on the board and is fastest of anyone for now. But then it’s Piastri... the order will change very quickly now. Sainz is in 15th so cannot really afford a mistake.

03:22 PM BST

Q1 - And the top 10

  1. HAM

  2. RUS

  3. PIA

  4. VER

  5. NOR

  6. MAG

  7. LEC

  8. ALB

  9. STR

  10. PER

03:21 PM BST

Q1 - Here’s the bottom five


03:21 PM BST

Q1 - 6 mins remain

It’s darker overhead. Everyone is out on slick tyres. Hulkenberg has not yet set a time so it is crucial he does so now, before the rain otherwise he will likely be eliminated.

03:19 PM BST

Q1 resumes

Rain is on its way. Perez might get slightly lucky if nobody else improves their time. He will make it through to Q2 but will start 15th at best, in any case.

03:18 PM BST

Watch: Perez spins out at Copse

03:17 PM BST

Cars queueing at the end of the pit lane

The session will resume in a few minutes and there is a chance of rain towards the end of Q1. 7min30sec left when we do get going at 3.19pm. It will be a frantic end to the session. 

03:15 PM BST

Perez wants a push out of the gravel

He is sitting in the car and does not want to get out. He eventually does get out though. He recently signed a contract extension but you wonder how water tight that is. Perhaps that’s the only way he will guarantee himself that Red Bull seat, by staying in the car. If he continues like this then Red Bull might not win the constructors’ championship.

03:11 PM BST


Perez is in the gravel! He is beached and he is out of the session. He is on an awful run of form, 15 points in the last five rounds and he will struggle to improve that this weekend. He was on the softs and has gone off. His session is over.

7mins30sec on the clock. 

03:10 PM BST

Q1 - Leclerc’s first sector on the slicks is OK

Not rapid but roughly on the pace of the intermediate tyres. His middle sector is quick, though.

03:09 PM BST

Q1 - Currently a Mercedes 1-2

Hamilton 0.081sec faster than Russell with Piastri in third, about 0.24sec off the fastest time. Verstappen fourth. Norris on the intermediates runs wide at Village, turn three.

03:08 PM BST

Q1 - The Haas drivers have not yet left the pits

Well, Magnussen has just now. Hulkenberg is still in the garage. Leclerc the first runner to move to slick tyres.

Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc waits to take part in the third practice session ahead of the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 6, 2024
Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc waits to take part in the third practice session ahead of the Formula One British Grand Prix at the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Silverstone, central England, on July 6, 2024

Alonso into ninth, Stroll then into seventh - above him.

03:06 PM BST

Q1 - What can Norris do?

Verstappen leads Hamilton, Russell, Leclerc and Perez at the moment. Norris just 0.089sec off Verstappen and takes second for now. Leclerc runs wide at turn three - not sure if that was on a hot lap. Probably because they all are on slicks. Surprised that nobody has bolted on the slicks yet but I think they want to get some bankers in and a feel for the track early on.

03:04 PM BST

Q1 - Bottas leads the way with a 1:39.7

But his team-mate beats that by a few tenths. Russell and Verstappen on decent laps. Hamilton moves to the top as we wait to see what Verstappen can do... he beats it by a couple of tenths as Norris begins his first hot lap.

03:02 PM BST

Q1 - Track temperature up to 23.6

So, yeah, it’ll be dry very soon. It’s good enough for slicks, surely...

03:01 PM BST

Q1 - It doesn’t look awfully wet out there

Everyone out on the intermediates so far, unsurprisingly. You wouldn’t want to bin it on your first run but we are surely not far off slicks for someone.

03:00 PM BST

GREEN LIGHT: Q1 begins

18 minutes, five drivers will be eliminated.

02:58 PM BST

Right, we are nearly ready to get going

According to the FIA’s weather report, there is a 60 per cent chance of rain during the session. Air temperature is 13.1c and track temperature is 21.9, which is significantly warmer than it was a few hours ago.

02:54 PM BST

Lando Norris speaks to Sky Sports F1

With the sun coming out... I would love it to be dry but it’s going to be in the middle. It’s going to make it a bit stressful but we have a good car so let’s see what we can do.

02:52 PM BST

Current driver standings – Top 10

I think, even as it stands now in the competitive order, it will be difficult for Norris to mount a title challenge. But a win here with Verstappen down the order a bit would help. Who knows with McLaren’s development rate, too.

02:46 PM BST

The sun is now out

Sort of. And there are also a few “drying” vehicles circulating the track. It would be nice if the session were damp but I am not sure we are going to get that. Still the chance of a few showers but I think we will finish the session on slicks, even if we do not start it that way.

02:41 PM BST

Watch: Gasly beaches his Alpine in final practice

Things have been on the up at Alpine recently, especially for Gasly. It is not looking like a good weekend here, though. He already has 50 grid places of penalties for the race and he failed to get any meaningful running in the difficult conditions this morning. That might not be too much of a problem if it dries out but if it’s a damp session than it is far from ideal.

02:31 PM BST

Qualifying is just about 30 minutes away

Antonelli did indeed win the F2 race in the wet, by an impressive 8.6sec from Zane Maloney.  It is no longer raining outside though whether the track will have dried enough for slicks by the time qualifying starts is another matter. Either way, the track evolution will be strong on whatever tyres. It’s still quite cold and breezy, though.

02:24 PM BST

It was a British 1-2-3 in FP3

But what are the odds on that being the case at the chequered flag tomorrow? Well, not especially long with one bookmaker quoting 6/1 for a Russell/Norris/Hamilton podium in any order. Slightly longer odds of 12/2 for an order of Norris to win with Russell and Hamilton on the podium alongside him.

02:18 PM BST

Ricciardo investigated for this incident in the pit lane in FP3

It could be a penalty - or perhaps a fine - for the Australian, who is probably in danger of losing his seat at RB. That said, he has put in two points finishes in the last three rounds and has always been in danger of losing his seat since he took it in 2023.

02:12 PM BST

Speaking of the F2 race

Kimi Antonelli is currently in the lead for Prema but, bad news for British fans, his team-mate Oliver Bearman has just pulled to the side of the track and is out. It was announced earlier this week that the Briton will drive for Haas in F1 next year. 

Andrea Kimi Antonelli of Italy and PREMA Racing (4) prepares to drive on the grid prior to the Round 8 Silverstone Sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship at Silverstone Circuit on July 06, 2024 in Northampton, England
Andrea Kimi Antonelli of Italy and PREMA Racing (4) prepares to drive on the grid prior to the Round 8 Silverstone Sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship at Silverstone Circuit on July 06, 2024 in Northampton, England

02:03 PM BST

These were the conditions in the F2 race not too long ago

It has cleared up a little since then, however. The issue with the weather today is that only is it wet, like yesterday, it is bitterly cold for early July, unlike yesterday which had a little warmth in the air. For qualifying the predicted highs are as low as 11c.

What does that mean? Well, the track will take longer to dry for one thing and, secondly, even if it does dry the grip levels are going to be extremely tricky. Whatever tyres the drivers end up using the conditions will be difficult to maximise.

As it stands the worst and heaviest of the rain looks to have cleared but there is still the chance of a few showers between now and the session and perhaps even during qualifying.

01:57 PM BST

Times after final practice

  1. RUS

  2. HAM +0.035

  3. NOR +0.185

  4. SAI +0.610

  5. VER +0.864

  6. LEC +0.925

  7. PIA +1.125

  8. ALO +1.411

  9. PER +1.755

  10. HUL +1.811

  11. ALB +2.074

  12. STR +2.171

  13. SAR +2.173

  14. TSU +2.291

  15. BOT +2.713

  16. OCO +2.901

  17. MAG +3.010

  18. RIC +3.294

  19. ZHO +3.294

  20. GAS +4.256

01:49 PM BST

FP3 report: Russell leads British 1-2-3

George Russell headed a Mercedes 1-2 in a damp final practice before qualifying for this weekend’s British Grand Prix.  There was heavy rain throughout the morning at Silverstone, with the F3 sprint race being postponed numerous times and then ultimately. The rain did ease before the session but it was still quite damp – with Max Verstappen spinning his Red Bull.

Pierre Gasly brought out a red-flag a little over five minutes in the damp session, spinning his Alpine at Vale towards the end of the lap and beaching his car in the gravel. It was, at least, a mercifully short walk back to the pit lane for the Frenchman, who starts from the back of the grid in any case after incurring a parts penalty.

The session continued without a great deal of rain for another half an hour with the lap times coming down into the 1:37s before the intensity of the precipitation increased, as did the lap times.

George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone Circuit on July 06, 2024 in Northampton, England
Russell won he last race in Austria - Getty Images/Bryn Lennon

Russell set the pace in the best of the conditions with a 1:37.529sec with team-mate Lewis Hamilton just 0.035sec behind him. It was an all-British one-two-three as Lando Norris, who topped both Friday practice sessions and looked in imperious form in his McLaren, was third, 0.185sec and the last of the runners who were within half a second of Russell’s time. Carlos Sainz was the lead Ferrari in fourth.

Max Verstappen, the championship leader, has had a slightly strange weekend by his standards and finished fifth, 0.864sec off Russell. With dry or wet conditions, however, I would expect him to challenge for pole position though that kind of guarantee has been lost in the past couple of months in F1, which is no bad thing.

Charles Leclerc was sixth, Oscar Piastri seventh with Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg rounding off the top 10. Assuming no torrential rain, qualifying will begin at 3pm BST at Silverstone.