Hamilton helped by unprecedented F1 sim session on Friday

Lewis Hamilton has revealed that an unprecedented Friday morning sim session helped put him on his way to sprint race pole at Formula 1's British Grand Prix.

Hamilton helped by unprecedented F1 sim session on Friday

The Mercedes driver had appeared to be on the backfoot against title rival Max Verstappen after the Red Bull ace dominated first free practice.

But Hamilton delivered when it mattered in the evening qualifying session, as Verstappen was left struggling with some unexpected understeer.

The seven-time champion edged out the current points leader by 0.075 seconds.

Reflecting on his performance, Hamilton said he had elected to make the most of F1's late start to Friday action by having a last-minute run in the nearby Mercedes simulator before track action began.

"We had this morning free and I was like, 'look, let's not sit around and waste time. Let's get to it," he explained.

"So we did a practice session this morning in there. We are just trying to develop it [the car], trying to give the guys as much information as possible so as we're developing the car, we're squeezing absolutely every ounce of performance we're missing. But it was holding together today, so I'm over the moon."

Hamilton said Mercedes had focused on its own long-run programme in the morning session rather than chasing headline lap times like Red Bull.

And although his final Q3 effort was derailed by a slide on the entrance to the Club sequence, Hamilton's first run was enough to take the top slot.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"I don't know what they were doing in there," he said.

"They were very quick obviously in that practice session, but we were just staying focused on our job and trying to layer up.

Read Also:

"I was in the sim this morning, just to use it as a practice session, because it is the first time we've ever had a morning free.

"I just put in the time, just trying to give absolutely everything and leave no stone unturned.

"So that first lap was great. The second one was looking even better, but I just lost the back end in the last corner so my heart was in my mouth as I came across the line.

"But I could see the crowd and it was really reminiscent of my first pole here in 2007."

Hamilton's top time from the Friday session will give him pole position for F1's first sprint qualifying event, which will decide the grid for Sunday's main event.

shares
comments

Related video

British Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes first-ever F1 sprint pole

Previous article

British Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes first-ever F1 sprint pole

Next article

Verstappen suffers with "weird feeling" with Red Bull F1 car in qualifying

Verstappen suffers with "weird feeling" with Red Bull F1 car in qualifying
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021