Valtteri Bottas Hit With Five-Grid-Spot Penalty for British Grand Prix

Toto Wolff

Hamilton was fastest on a 1:28.063, with Vettel setting the fastest first two sectors on his flying attempt before eventually falling just 0.032s short of Hamilton's time.

He will now start 10th, but if he had beaten Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren it would have elevated him to eighth due to Valtteri Bottas's grid penalty.

Fernando Alonso has the largest grid penalty of all after a new power unit was fitted to his vehicle this morning adding an extra 25-place grid penalty on top of the five-place penalty he had following a battery change on Friday.

He will be seeking his fourth successive victory at Silverstone and record-equalling fifth overall in Sunday's race.

Formula One drivers hit the streets of central London with revving engines and wheel-spinning displays of smoking rubber - but triple world champion Lewis Hamilton stayed away.

"I've tried to prepare the best that I can by being very relaxed over the past few days", said Hamilton, who slipped 20 points adrift of the four-time champion at last weekend's Austrian Grand Prix where he started eighth on the grid, thanks to a five-place penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change on his Mercedes vehicle.

Vettel said: "The auto came alive this morning and that was really good".

In an effort to swell the F1 audience, the new owners of the series took over Trafalgar Square in London to showcase the cars and the stars of the track on Wednesday night. He has never been able to get a win at this track. "I didn't do it last weekend". "It turned out a great event, a fun event for us as well as for the people".

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"Each time I left the garage I gave the fans a wave and I could see them waving back".

Vettel, who has been so consistent this season, was only fourth here, four tenths of a second slower than the Mercedes pair.

The Mercedes driver was 0.547 seconds quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen with his title rival Sebastian Vettel only third, a massive 0.756secs adrift.

Hamilton was the only absentee of the 20 drivers who performed tyre-smoking spins, or "donuts", in their cars on individual runs along Whitehall to the crowded square and back.

"You've got the championship which is the most important thing, but a very close second, if not tied, is the British Grand Prix". He finished ninth a year ago.

Championship leader Vettel had to cut short his trial with the so-called "shield" on Friday after complaining of dizziness.

Despite the gap in qualifying, Vettel - who felt the auto had "come alive" between Friday and Saturday morning practice - admitted he was expecting the Ferrari to be more competitive in race trim, as has often been the case in 2017.

"I tried it this morning, and I got a bit dizzy", Vettel said.

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