George Russell will start tomorrow’s British Grand Prix from third position ahead of Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren driver Lando Norris, nothing up a series of notable entries in the history books.

Russell becomes only the ninth British driver to earn pole for his home Grand Prix, and the first other than Hamilton since Damon Hill for Williams in 1996.

It’s Mercedes’ 84th front-row lock-out to take the all-time record previously shared with Ferrari. It’s the first time the team has started 1-2 on the grid for a GP since Sao Paulo in 2022, where Russell claimed his first F1 win.

Today’s result also marks the first British 1-2 on the grid for the British Grand Prix since 1977, where James Hunt and John Watson locked out the front-row.

Previously, the only time before that there was a 1-2-3 of British drivers at the start of their home race was at Aintree in 1962 when Jim Clark, John Surtees and Innes Ireland.

“A one-two for us, Lando in P3, it’s obviously just mega,” he said in parc ferme. “The crowd gave us so much energy, the three of us. I don’t think Silverstone could have dreamt of three Brits in the top three.”

It all adds to the excitement and expectation on Russell to deliver, one week after his claimed his second career F1 victory for Mercedes in the Austrian GP at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15.
06.07.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Qualifying Day.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Rew / XPB Images

“What a feeling,” said Russell who admitted that Mercedes’ rapid rise after two fallow seasons had taken everyone aback. “At the start of this year, I don’t think we could have even dreamt of being on pole here.

“This is definitely one of the best feelings I’ve ever had on a Saturday afternoon,” he said. “The car was just insane when we went out in Q3, it just really came alive,.

“It was one of the best feelings I’ve had driving this circuit, crossing the line with my name in P1,” he beamed. “And then with both of us on the front row, we couldn’t have even dreamed of that after the first three or four races.

“We’re riding this wave at the moment, absolutely buzzing,” he added. “The car at the moment is feeling so, so good. It really came alive in qualifying, and honestly – what a joy to drive around this circuit.”

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15.
06.07.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Qualifying Day.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

It hadn’t been such a joy in the earlier rounds of qualifying, when the track was still damp from earlier rain and further showers at the end of Q1 meaning Russell came close to being caught out and missing the cut.

“In Q3, we really turned it up, because Q1 and Q2 were very, very challenging,” he said. “I felt like I was about to get knocked out at various points. The track was improving every single lap.

“Going into Q3 was the most pressure I’ve ever felt in a qualifying session, because the whole Q1 and Q2 runs it felt like I was on the verge of getting knocked out every single occasion.

“I wasn’t feeling that confident with myself, but as soon as I went through turn 1 and turn 2 in Q3 I felt good and managed to do the laps,” he said.

George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. 06.07.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, British Grand Prix, Silverstone, England, Qualifying Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images

“From turn 6 to turn 9, I gained a lot,” he continued. “Turn 6 and 7 was mega, a big headwind through there so I braked really late and could just carry the speed through the corners. It was just on rails, the car.”

Russell felt that Norris and Max Verstappen starting from the row behind were still the fastest cars on track at the moment.

“The weather’s going to play a huge part,” he observed. “It’s been raining and drying up throughout the last couple of days. There’s a bit of rain on the forecast tomorrow, so we’re probably on course for another Montreal-style race.

“Our eyes are on tomorrow. We’ve got a race to win, and we know that the McLaren of Lando will be pushing us incredibly hard. Max will also be in the fight, but I am so excited right now. We can’t wait for the race tomorrow.

“I think we’ve got a good fight on our hands,” he added with relish.

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