Mercedes were the class of the field in qualifying for the British Grand Prix, as George Russell toppled Lewis Hamilton in a thrilling battle.

Lando Norris ensured that history was made by qualifying P3, as Formula 1’s British drivers secured P1, P2 and P3 on the grid for the first time, while an off for Max Verstappen left him with floor damage and absent from the pole battle.

George Russell clinches pole at Silverstone

Despite further heavy rain after FP3, the sun was out and the track was drying as the light went green for Q1 to get British Grand Prix qualifying underway. Rain showers were still around though, with the official risk 60 per cent.

Intermediates were the tyre compound to be on for the start of Q1, but if the rain held off, then the swap to slicks was not far away, with Valtteri Bottas reporting that “there is a small dry line already”.

George Russell headed a Mercedes one-two in the wet final practice session, but it was Red Bull’s Drivers’ Championship leader Verstappen setting the early pace, his 1:37.518 just under a tenth up on closest challenger Norris after the opening runs.

As Hamilton popped up to P1 and Russell re-formed the Mercedes one-two, Ferrari decided that it was time for slicks, as Charles Leclerc became the first driver of the session to take that plunge with a set of softs.

Sergio Perez also moved onto the softs, but soon found the gravel down at Turn 9. Going nowhere, he triggered the red flags in a fresh qualifying disappointment for the Red Bull driver.

Q1 resumed with seven-and-a-half minutes on the clock and a flood of drivers who had queued at the pit exit, as the dark clouds returned and the rain began to fall once more. Lance Stroll meanwhile was noted for potentially leaving the pit lane when the light was red, with a post-session investigation soon confirmed.

Aston Martin were then noted for potential pit-lane infringements for both Fernando Alonso and Stroll, with a further investigation pencilled in for after qualifying.

With the rain intensity set to ramp out, Verstappen suffered a potentially critical error as he slid and went through the gravel at Copse as the rest of the pack got a soft-tyre lap in the bank. Red Bull confirmed significant damage to Verstappen’s floor as a result of the off.

But the rain would ease off, allowing for another tour as Verstappen shot up to P3. However, the times were still tumbling.

Hamilton topped Q1, over half a second up on Russell, while for Bottas, Kevin Magnussen, Esteban Ocon, Perez and Pierre Gasly – who was set to drop to the back anyway due to power unit penalties – it was qualifying over.

Key talking points from the British Grand Prix

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Into Q2 and Carlos Sainz was setting the early pace on a 1:27.149, with Fernando Alonso and Verstappen, two-tenths off the pace, forming the top three.

Logan Sargeant, Russell, Yuki Tsunoda, Zhou Guanyu and Daniel Ricciardo needed to improve if they were to make the top-10 shootout for pole.

Norris ultimately topped the Q2 timings, with Lance Stroll dumping Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc into the elimination zone for a shock exit. He was joined by Sargeant, Tsunoda, Zhou and Ricciardo.

Norris was left frustrated with Hamilton as the drivers battled for track position going into those final laps, Norris claiming Hamilton “swerved pretty aggressively towards me” as Norris passed to Hamilton’s right on the approach to the Vale chicane.

Into the final stage of qualifying and the battle for British Grand Prix pole position was wide open.

With the opening flying laps on the board, it was Russell on provisional pole courtesy of a 1:26.024, with Norris and Hamilton making it an all-British top three.

Verstappen, nursing that wounded Red Bull RB20, sat P5 and three-tenths off the pace.

A 1:25.990 on his final attempt saw Hamilton briefly move up to pole, but Russell struck back, a 1:25.819 bagging him pole as Mercedes celebrated a front-row lockout. Norris in P3 ensured that all-British top three, the first time that all British drivers have been 1-2-3 on the Formula 1 grid.

Q3 times

1 George RUSSELL Mercedes 1:25.819
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.171
3 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.211
4 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.384
5 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.418
6 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.519
7 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.690
8 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +0.766
9 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.821
10 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.098

Q2 times

1 Lando NORRIS McLaren 1:26.559
2 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.164
3 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.171
4 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.174
5 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.211
6 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.237
7 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.284
8 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.288
9 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.374
10 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +0.379

11 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.538
12 Logan SARGEANT Williams +0.616
13 Yuki TSUNODA RB +0.710
14 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber +1.308
15 Daniel RICCIARDO RB +1.390

Q1 times

1 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 1:29.547
2 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.559
3 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.949
4 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +1.010
5 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +1.348
6 Yuki TSUNODA RB +1.447
7 Alexander ALBON Williams +1.588
8 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber +1.643
9 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.717
10 Daniel RICCIARDO RB +1.744
11 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +1.795
12 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +1.863
13 Lando NORRIS McLaren +2.049
14 Logan SARGEANT Williams +2.061
15 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +2.382

16 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber +2.884
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +3.358
18 Esteban OCON Alpine +5.010
19 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +8.801
20 Pierre GASLY Alpine +10.257

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