Max Verstappen secured pole position at Silverstone before the British Grand Prix, followed by a surprising performance from two McLaren drivers in second and third positions.
Lando Norris claimed second place, just 0.241 seconds behind Verstappen, after he and his teammate Oscar Piastri improved their times on the final laps to outpace the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers and emerge as the best among the main contenders behind the championship-leading Red Bulls.
Norris briefly held the fastest time, sending the Silverstone crowd into loud cheers, before Verstappen also improved his time on his final attempt.
McLaren suddenly emerged from behind, bettering their times in the closing stages of the session and narrowly beating their rivals, with only a 0.194-second gap between Norris in second and Lewis Hamilton in seventh.
Charles Leclerc will start the race in fourth position for Ferrari ahead of his teammate Carlos Sainz in fifth. Mercedes initially looked competitive for a top-three spot in the earlier session, but George Russell and his teammate Hamilton slipped to sixth and seventh on their final attempts.
Alex Albon secured eighth place for Williams after an impressive weekend for the British team at their home race, with Fernando Alonso in ninth and Pierre Gasly in tenth for Alpine.
Nico Hülkenberg failed to make it to Q3 by a margin of 0.114 seconds and will start the race in eleventh position ahead of Lance Stroll from Aston Martin in twelfth.
Esteban Ocon was the fastest driver in thirteenth place for Alpine after an incident with Stroll as he was preparing for his fastest lap, sending him off the track.
Logan Sargeant achieved his best qualifying result of the year in fourteenth position and will start ahead of Valtteri Bottas in fifteenth, whose car stopped on the track in Q1, preventing him from setting a lap time in Q2.
Sergio Perez failed to make it into the top ten in qualifying for the fifth consecutive time after being eliminated in Q1.
The conditions in the early stages of qualifying were initially wet but dried during a short red flag period to clear Kevin Magnussen’s stopped Haas on the track.
This provided a three-minute window at the end of the session where drivers had one chance to set a lap time. Perez, who waited in the pit lane for a long time before the track reopened, was the first driver out on the track when the session resumed.
However, a combination of tire cooling while waiting in the pit lane and the track conditions slightly improving with each completed lap led to him missing out on Q2 by a margin of 0.019 seconds, and he will start the race in sixteenth position ahead of Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri in seventeenth.
“The red flag went on longer than we initially expected, which didn’t help the tire temperatures,” said Perez. “And yeah, it’s a shame to miss out because we had a good Friday, race pace looked very strong, and starting from the back will be a race where we try to minimize the damage.”
Zhou Guanyu from Alfa Romeo finished in eighteenth position ahead of the second AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries, while Magnussen took the last spot due to his car’s stoppage.
Bottas from Alfa Romeo stopped on the track in Q1, but his fastest time brought him into the second qualifying session; however, he was later disqualified in the evening as his car could not provide a fuel sample.