Pavel’s on trip to top of Euro pile
The Mercedes driver will start today’s British Grand Prix on pole in his bid to move ahead of Clark and Alain Prost with his sixth triumph on home soil. Hamilton’s heroics on his final lap at Silverstone came after Toro Rosso’s Brendon Har t ley emerged unscathed from a horror 200mph crash in the final practice.
The accident ruled Hartley out of qualifying although he will line up last on the grid after being passed fit to continue.
Hamilton turned on the style to claim his fourth straight pole at Silverstone and edge out championship rival Sebastian Vettel by 0.044 seconds. The Englishman, chasing a fifth victory in a row that would also beat Clark’s run of four, trailed Vettel prior to the final runs. But he delivered a breathless t ime with his final throw of the dice to see of f competition from both Ferrari cars. He said: “It is one of the most pressurised laps I’ve ever had. I was shaking afterwards through the emotion and the adrenalin rush. “The adrenalin was off the limiter and more than I have experienced before. It is my 76th pole but is so special and I’m so happy. I didn’t leave anything on the table.”
Vettel admitted he nearly pulled out of qualifying with a neck injury but insists he will be fit to race.
He said: “I don’t know what happened with my neck but it went stiff.
“We loosened it up with physio. Sleep will help so I am not worried.”
Kimi Raikkonen lines up in third for Ferrari ahead of Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo sit fifth and sixth.
Sir Frank Williams was in attendance at a race for the first time this season but his presence did little to change the failing British team’s woeful fortunes.
Canadian Lance Stroll lost control of his car on his very first f lying lap – spinning at Brooklands and ending up beached in the gravel. His session was over instantly.
Only moments later Sergey Sirotkin in the sister Williams was in the sand trap too as the deputy team principal Claire Williams looked on aghast with both hands over her mouth.
Sirotkin managed to limp out of the gravel and back to the pits but could manage only the slowest time, putting both Williams cars just in front of Hartley at the back of the grid. Pavel Karnejenko dug out a photo that has withstood the test of time.
Three boys with their teenage years still ahead of them are staring into the camera in a podium-like set-up.
“That’s when I had just moved to Scotland and we had a Russian gymnastics school come over to train with us.” said Karnejenko, who was eight when he left Estonia.
Only now, the boy in the middle, Nikita Nagornyy, is an Olympic silver medallist. On the right, Dima Lankin, has a silver of the European kind.
A decade or so on, it fal ls to Karnejenko to make sure Scotland doesn’t fall out of the picture all together when they’re reunited in Glasgow next month.
He’s made sacrifices on his way to becoming the only Scot in a 20-strong GB gymnastics squad bound for the European Championships.
Like swapping Tallinn for Hamilton as a child – with the dream of carving out a career in gymnastics – then relocating to Nottingham last year when it became a reality.
Or passing up on a potential Commonwealth Games debut in April as going senior would rule out the European Junior Championships.
The 18- year- old said: “There is nothing in Estonia in terms of men’s artistic gymnastics that I do.
“I only did a bit in Estonia when I was little – backflips and trampolining – then I saw it on TV. I was watching the 2008 Olympics and it inspired me to do it – it just looked fun.
“My mum and dad wanted more opportunities for me and my two sisters – that’s why we moved.”
Karnejenko, who started out at the City of Glasgow Gymnastics Club, has plenty riding on his first major competition on home soil.
Especially after watching his pals step on to the Gold Coast podium in April while he stayed at home.
He said: “It wasn’t an easy decision, it took me a few weeks to decide but the European Championships is a more important event for my future.
“I watched all my team- mates, which was amazing to see, the ones I used to train with in Glasgow.
“I wouldn’t say I was jealous, I was just more happy that they’re now Commonwealth medalists. All of my family will be in Glasgow to watch me. It will be pretty special.”
JUMPSTART Hamilton savours a fourth straight pole at Silverstone yesterday RISING STARS Karnejenko (left)