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F1 British Grand Prix: Race Updates From Silverstone – Live!

… a full report on yesterday’s dramatic qualifying:

Next, a nice meaty profile of Checo Perez, who right now is Mexico’s greatest sporting hope:

Some pre-race reading. First, Giles Richards on the bleak events of the previous week – and Hamilton’s laudable response to them:

PreambleThe week that was: Nelson Piquet uses a racist slur about Lewis Hamilton. Former Lotus president Gerard Lopez – a friend of Vladimir Putin and major Tory donor – faces charges of forgery in Luxembourg criminal court. And Bernie Eccleston says he would “take a bullet” for Putin, that the war in Ukraine is “unintentional” and that Hamilton could have “brushed aside” Piquet’s remarks. Sport, eh?

After a deeply dismaying few days, then, it was nice to return to drama of a more pantomime variety yesterday at Silverstone, where the presence of Max Verstappen – arch-nemesis of local hero Hamilton – was met by a hearty chorus of jeers from a hostile crowd who are yet to forget Abu Dhabi. This sort of juvenile nonsense, I think we can all agree, is very much the upside of big sport.

Not that our Max saw it that way. “If they want to boo they do that, they all have their own opinions, I don’t care,” he huffed, not entirely convincingly, perhaps after being told by a minion that the crowd were actually shouting “Red Booooo-ull”.

But Verstappen had other reasons to sulk, not least the fact that pole position had been snatched from his grasp by the brilliant Carlos Sainz during a thrilling last lap in the Northamptonshire drizzle, doing the business by a tight 0.072secs. The Spaniard pushed Verstappen to the limit in Montreal last week and his place in the front row today represents another tricky hurdle for the title favourite, who currently sits a tidy 46 points clear in the drivers’ standings.

If that sounds like fair old distance, well, it is exactly how far ahead of Verstappen Charles Leclerc was after the season’s first three races. The Monégasque – now behind both Verstappen and Perez in the standings – will be desperate to reassert his title credentials today after enduring a hiding to nothing last week, when he finished fifth after starting from the back due to grid penalties.

As for the local golden boy, things are finally picking up after a testing start to the season. Hamilton was fighting for the front row throughout much of yesterday’s qualifying, with Mercedes’ recent upgrades seeming to have helped. “Oh man, I was having so much fun out there,” he beamed afterwards. Perhaps only the very most optimistic fans could hope for a Hamilton victory today – but a podium finish would certainly go down a treat at Silverstone. Either way, this should be fun.

Lights out 3pm BST.

New RedBull pit boss? Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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