Lewis Hamilton has British Grand Prix sprint regret after Max Verstappen secures pole
Lewis Hamilton says he wishes he could ‘redo the start’ of Saturday’s sprint race after Max Verstappen secured pole position for Sunday’s British Grand Prix after victory during a historic inaugural qualifying race at Silverstone.
Verstappen jumped Hamilton at the start of the race with better drive off the line, despite the Dutchman’s front left brakes catching on fire while waiting for the lights to go out in front of the Briton’s home crowd.
However, despite Hamilton’s fight back, the championship leader gradually pulled out a comfortable lead from the 36-year-old, as he commanded the race and managed to pick up three important championship points, extending his lead to 33, and will now start on pole for the British Grand Prix.
The Briton was heard on the radio asking for more power from the team on lap 12, as he tried to claw back any time on the Red Bull driver, with blistering reported on Verstappen’s tyres.
But it wasn’t enough, and Verstappen extended his lead with victory on Saturday, with Hamilton finishing second, with two points added to his total, with his team-mate Bottas picking up a point from third.
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“I gave it everything today,” said Hamilton straight after the race. “First I’m gonna give a lot of love to all these fans, I can’t tell you the energy that I’m getting from everyone, that support means the world to me so I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get the win in sprint one but tomorrow we fight again.
“I hit target on my start, it’s not good what you lose from P1, but, we’ll try and try and turn negative into a positive tomorrow
“Every point counts, but I’m grateful to finish, they’re just so strong in the race, as he was pulling away there was nothing I could do to hold on to him.
“So we’ve really got to try and be in front somehow they’ve done a great job with their engine, their starts are really great, we’ve lost a bit of performance on our stuff so we’ve got to work a bit harder to try and improve that because losing positions is never a great thing.
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Hamilton’s poor start handed Verstappen the perfect opportunity to take the lead of the 17-lap race, and extend his lead in the championship.
“Wish I could redo the start again,” Hamilton rued. “But luckily we have tomorrow.
“I don’t know how it was to watch for the fans, I think this weekend’s been awesome, yesterday was such a fun day to have qualifying on a Friday, way more enjoyable.
“I don’t know whether that was the most exciting race or not, but we should do more like that, maybe a different version of it in future because this makes the weekend more enjoyable I think.
“But I need everyone to bring their energy again tomorrow and I’ll bring my A-game.”
Hamilton stunned on Friday in the evening’s qualifying session, beating Verstappen by just 0.075s in front of a jubilant British crowd.
It means Hamilton lined up ahead of his main title rival who started second, with Hamilton’s Bottas third.
The seven-time world champion was visibly emotional as the home crowd chanted his name, as he looks to add an eighth world title to his name this season.
Cheers echoed around Silverstone, as Hamilton climbed out of the car, with Union Jack flags fluttering in the Silverstone breeze, as the sun beamed down on the world champion, who thanked the fans for their input.
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