Sainz earns his first pole in wet Silverstone qualifying

Carlos Sainz achieved his first pole position in Formula 1 at a wet and tricky qualifying session at Silverstone. The Ferrari driver beat Max Verstappen to take his maiden P1 with his teammate Charles Leclerc taking third.

Verstappen had led the way through Q1 and Q2 and appeared to be on course to complete a clean sweep as he also topped the times ahead of the final runs in the final qualifying segment.

Indeed, Verstappen set the fastest first sector of Q3 on his last effort, but lost time around the rest of the lap and could not improve his personal best.

That meant he could not get back ahead of Sainz, who was shocked to take pole with a one minute, 40.983 seconds that he said “felt terrible”, despite setting the quickest Q3 times in the second and third sectors.

Leclerc wound up third as he spun through Chapel heading onto the Hanger straight on his final Q3 lap, after he had looked to be Verstappen’s closest challenger for pole before Sainz surprised everyone – including himself, as he asked his engineer “how did I do P1?!” after crossing the finishing line – to take pole.

Sergio Perez took fourth, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, both of whom had registered high placings through the early segments of qualifying, which was wet throughout after rain doused the Silverstone track in the 15 minutes ahead of the 3pm local start time.

Then came Fernando Alonso and George Russell, with Zhou Guanyu making it through to Q3 for the second race in a row and ending up ninth for Alfa Romeo.

Nicholas Latifi was delighted to make it through to Q3 for the first time, but he did not set a representative time in the final segment and so finished tenth and last of the shootout runners.

Q2 began with the rain starting to fall harder again after it had stopped by the end of Q1, which put a premium on fast, early banker efforts.

This nearly caught out Sainz as he languished in the drop zone after the initial laps in the middle segment, but the Ferrari driver was able to jump up the order at the halfway point, after which the rain falling ever harder meant no drivers were able to improve and the elimination order was set.

Pierre Gasly was the highest placed driver to be knocked out in P11 for AlphaTauri, followed by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas – and early spinner in Q1 at Club – and Yuki Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo wound up down in P14 in the other McLaren, followed by Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

In Q1, the opening segment began with rain falling steadily, but the pack nevertheless headed out on the intermediates, which was the compound used throughout qualifying and the drivers were generally fuelled to circulate throughout all three segments.

All five of the drivers knocked out at the end of Q1 set their quickest times right at the end in the best of the conditions of the whole qualifying session, but could not improve enough to escape, with Alex Albon finishing just P16 in the updated Williams and frustrated at being ordered to complete cool down laps between flying efforts.

Then came Kevin Magnussen and Sebastian Vettel, who were followed in unison by their respective Haas and Aston Martin teammates –Mick Schumacher and Lance Stroll, who brought up the rear of the field.

Vettel’s exit in P18 marks the four-time world champion’s first ever Q1 elimination at Silverstone.

So congratulations to Carlos Sainz in scoring his first pole position in Formula 1. It’s been a tricky few races for the Ferrari driver so this front row should boost his confidence.

British Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:40.983
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:41.055
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:41.298
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:41.616
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.995
6 Lando Norris McLaren 1:42.084
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:42.116
8 George Russell Mercedes 1:42.161
9 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:42.719
10 Nicholas Latifi Williams 2:03.095
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:43.702
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:44.232
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:44.311
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:44.355
15 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:45.190
16 Alex Albon Williams 1:42.078
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:42.159
18 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:42.666
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:42.708
20 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:43.430

4 thoughts to “Sainz earns his first pole in wet Silverstone qualifying”

  1. British Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by

    A masterful lap in a wet British Grand Prix qualifying saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claim his maiden pole position in Formula 1, as he beat the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who’d led much of the session.

    Rain had begun falling on Silverstone just minutes before qualifying began, with Verstappen comfortably heading both Q1 and Q2. Verstappen was then leading Q3 in the final moments when Sainz unleashed his final lap to stop the clocks at 1m 40.983 and take P1 with an effort he described in disbelief as “terrible”. On the weekend of his 150th Grand Prix start, though, terrible did very nicely indeed.

    Sainz was 0.072s ahead of Verstappen, with Leclerc P3, 0.315s off his team mate – both Leclerc and Verstappen having suffered Q3 spins while on promising laps.

    Sergio Perez was P4 in the second Red Bull, ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, with Lando Norris P6, as Fernando Alonso and George Russell rounded out the top eight. Zhou Guanyu was P9, while Nicholas Latifi survived a scary off at Turn 1 to take P10, on his first-ever Q3 appearance.

    Pierre Gasly was P11 for AlphaTauri, ahead of the second Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas and Gasly’s own team mate Yuki Tsunoda, with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon having fallen foul of worsening conditions in Q2 and failing to make it out, taking P14 and P15.

    Failing to make it out of Q1, meanwhile, Alex Albon was P16 – despite being equipped with Williams’ extensive upgrade package, which Latifi didn’t have – while both Haas and Aston Martins went out in the first segment too, the order Kevin Magnussen in P17, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher and Lance Stroll.

    So, Sainz has finally got that first ever pole position. But can the maiden win come on Sunday, at a Silverstone track he adores? Tune in to find out.

    Q1 – Both Haas and Aston Martins drop out as the rain soaks the Silverstone track

    With just 10 minutes to go before qualifying began, a troop of ever-reliable British rain clouds disgorged their contents over the Silverstone circuit, prompting a dive for all the teams onto the intermediate tyres – and a heavy traffic jam ahead of the green light as the drivers looked to get a banker lap on the board in case the rain intensified.

    As it happened, the rain actually slackened off throughout the opening segment, a drier line appearing around the iconic 3.6-mile track as Verstappen set the early benchmark with a 1m 40.452, improving to a 1m 39.975s one tour later, 0.655s clear of Leclerc.

    The question now was, would the track improve enough for teams to fit slicks? But ultimately, while the track was improving, it wasn’t improving enough for tread-less tyres.

    With the clock having ticked down to zero in the 18-minute quali opener, Leclerc hit back at Verstappen to briefly claim top spot, only for a sublime all-purple sector lap from Verstappen to see him post a 1m 39.129s, 0.717s up on the Monegasque, as George Russell put himself P3, 0.899s off the ultimate pace, ahead of Sainz, Hamilton and Perez.

    Down the order, Daniel Ricciardo was looking in danger of an embarrassing Q1 exit at the scene of his F1 debut 11 years ago, before a last-gasp effort lifted him to an eventual P14. Over at Williams, and despite not being fitted out with his team mate’s significant raft of upgrades, Nicholas Latifi made Q2 for the first time this season in P15, with Alex Albon out in P16 by 0.080s and lamenting Williams’ strategy of utilising cool-down laps rather than continuing to circulate hard.

    The weather reflected the mood at Haas and Aston Martin, meanwhile, as the two teams lost both cars in Q1, Vettel expressing his dismal frustration with a series of steering wheel bangs.

    Knocked out: Albon, Magnussen, Vettel, Schumacher, Stroll

    Q2 – Latifi makes his first Q3 appearance at the expense of Ocon and Ricciardo

    Everyone was now trying to get a gauge on what the weather was going to do throughout the rest of qualifying – with the airwaves full of engineers offering differing meteorological opinions…

    As it turned out, the rain would steadily increase throughout Q2, meaning that the drivers who got a good lap on the board early doors would have a distinct advantage. Verstappen led the way once again, with a 1m 40.655s lap that was around a second and a half slower than he managed in Q1, with Hamilton – someone who knows a thing or two about lapping Silverstone in the wet – slotting into P2, 0.407s off.

    With the chequered flag flying for Q2, the timesheets were a sea of yellow, none of the drivers in the bottom five elimination zone improving on their final efforts. That meant that Esteban Ocon found himself out in P15, one place down on the McLaren of Ricciardo. Both AlphaTauris also dropped out – although given their pace struggles this weekend, 11th for Gasly and 13th for Tsunoda might not be such a bad thing – with Bottas 12th.

    Nicholas Latifi was one of the drivers to post a solid early lap – and it was good enough to lift the under-pressure Williams driver into Q3 for the first time in his career, as he took P10 just behind Zhou Guanyu, the Chinese driver continuing his impressive run as the sole Alfa in the top 10.

    So, it was both Red Bulls, both Ferraris and both Mercedes in Q3, joined by McLaren’s Norris, Alpine’s Alonso and the aforementioned Zhou and Latifi.

    Knocked out: Gasly, Bottas, Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Ocon

    Q3 – Sainz banks maiden pole position as Verstappen and Leclerc spin

    The inters remained the tyre du jour for Q3, while rumours of a further rain shower adding to the existing mizzle were heard over team radio as the drivers headed onto the slick Silverstone track. Once more, it seemed, a banker lap was needed.

    Verstappen looked to be setting one, when he spun wildly coming out of Stowe, his RB18 performing a neat pirouette. Was he fazed? No, as he then posted two purple sectors en route to P2, before improving on his second effort to set a 1m 42.966s. “More rain expected, keep pushing,” Verstappen was told, and the Dutchman duly kept his foot in and continued lapping.

    With two minutes to go, it was Verstappen from Hamilton and Leclerc, those three looking set to duke it out for the qualifying spoils. But then out of nowhere came Sainz, who’d flown under the radar ever since leading FP2 on Friday afternoon. And with the time having ticked away to nothing, Sainz took the chequered flag with a lap that was good enough for provisional pole.

    Verstappen and Leclerc were going quickly behind – but then Leclerc spun at Turn 14, with yellow flags forcing Verstappen to lift and handing the pole position to Sainz.

    As the Spaniard was informed of his triumph, he replied in disbelief: “I was terrible out there! How did I get P1?!”

    “You kept it together like a smooth operator!” his engineer laughingly replied.

    Cue ecstatic scenes in the Ferrari garage as the Scuderia feted their popular Spanish charge. Verstappen was satisfied enough to settle for P2, the form man throughout qualifying missing out by just 0.072s as Leclerc tucked into third, ahead of Perez.

    Hamilton had looked like threatening a front-row start, but ultimately was “gutted” to take fifth to team mate Russell’s eighth on a day Mercedes admitted was a touch disappointing – given their suite of upgrades for the W13.

    In between the Silver Arrows was a “very satisfied” Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso. Zhou Guanyu was a decent ninth, while a big spin from Latifi at Turn 1 in Q3, from which the Canadian was lucky to escape without damage, ultimately left him 10th.

  2. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was left feeling surprised by his British Grand Prix pole as the lap was “nothing special”. has the news story.

    Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz admitted he was “surprised” to grab his first Formula 1 pole in a wet qualifying session for the British Grand Prix, saying his lap was “nothing special”.

    Saturday afternoon’s qualifying was held in soaked conditions, but as the top 10 made its way into the final Q3 shootout the track’s racing line started drying up by the second.

    That meant that drivers had to continue circulating to get a fast lap in as close to the end of the session as possible to find the best conditions, and it meant virtual pole frequently changed hands between Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

    But with his final lap Sainz grabbed his maiden F1 pole by just 0.072s over Verstappen, with Leclerc three tenths behind in third and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez a distant fourth.

    Sainz admitted he was shocked that his lap was good enough for pole, because he thought it was “nothing special”.

    “It was a good lap, but I was struggling a lot with the standing water on the intermediate, there was a lot more standing water, even on the racing line, and it was very easy to get snaps and lose the lap” Sainz said.

    “It was also more difficult to get temperature into this intermediate for this condition.

    “In the end I put together a lap that I didn’t think was that special just to be on the board and it was pole position which came as a bit of a surprise.”

    With his first pole in the record books, Sainz is now chasing a maiden victory in F1 and believes he has race pace to pull off a double breakthrough on Sunday.

    “I think so. The pace has been there all weekend, except for FP3 where we had some issues that we that we think we have corrected for qualifying, but if I base myself on my FP2 pace then we should be in a good position to try and hold on to it.

    “I’m sure Max and Charles will put a lot of pressure on, but I will try my best of course.”

    Leclerc spun on his final lap and therefore “didn’t deserve to be on pole”, but said he was happy to see his teammate take his first pole.

    When asked if he was disappointed, Leclerc said: “Yeah I am, but happy for Carlos. He did a great job today.

    “I spun in that last lap, I knew it was the lap where I had to put everything together and I didn’t as a driver, so I didn’t deserve to be on pole.

    “But P3 is still a good position to start tomorrow’s race. And hopefully, putting everything together, we can come back.”

    “It will be interesting to see whoever is going for one stop or two stops, but hopefully we will make the right choice and we can come back to where we want to be.”

  3. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was in a chance in “fighting for front row” until final Formula 1 qualifying lap. provides the details.

    Lewis Hamilton believes he was “fighting for the front row” in a wet qualifying for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix but got caught out on his final lap.

    The Mercedes driver ended qualifying for his home race in fifth place despite posting earlier laptimes which kept him in the battle for the front row, having briefly held second place in Q3.

    But Hamilton conceded he lost out when he backed off during his penultimate lap in Q3 to charge his battery, only for the rain to intensify on his last lap.

    “In the rain we were fighting for the front row and it was all the way up to the second to last lap we were up, but I was asked to back off and wait for the last lap, but then it rained. So that was a bit unfortunate,” Hamilton said.

    “I wanted to go to a more racy power mode for the last lap, charging the battery, etcetera, and as we did that it rained a bit more on the last lap.

    “I was really so hopeful because we have got this incredible crowd and all of a sudden I was in the fight so I was feeling great, going second by 0.02s or something, so I thought I could definitely go quicker.

    “I think I was two tenths up so I backed off to go again on the next lap but it wasn’t to be. We lost too much temperature on the cool-down lap.”

    Despite being confident for a better grid position, Hamilton remains optimistic of being in the hunt against the Red Bulls and Ferraris, even if he feels battling for the win might end up being a tall order.

    “It makes it a little bit harder tomorrow but still we have got a good race car and will be continue to work,” he said. “It is not the worst position to start of course, and in the past races I would’ve been super happy with that.

    “But of course it is the British Grand Prix and you are hopeful for something more. I think I was on course for that but anyway, we move forwards and I will try to pull something special out for tomorrow.

    “I don’t know if we can challenge for a win, the Red Bulls are so quick in the dry, they are pulling away on the straights and through the high speed [corners] as they don’t have any bouncing whereas we have bouncing here, particularly in the corners, and that is where they are pulling away.

    “Our race pace was a little bit better yesterday, I still think they are ahead but let’s see, I am hoping we are a little bit closer on race pace compared to the last race, and if we are and I can just hold on to them maybe we can somehow progress. So I will be aggressive tomorrow.”

  4. The British Grand Prix crowd were booing the defending world champion Max Verstappen and the Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton condemns the fans booing the Red Bull star by saying: “We’re better than that”. has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton condemned the boos received by Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen on Saturday at Silverstone after qualifying, saying “we are better than that.”

    Red Bull driver Verstappen was subject to booing and jeering from the crowd during his post-qualifying interview in parc ferme on Saturday, having qualified second for the British Grand Prix.

    There were also cheers from the crowd when Verstappen spun exiting Stowe at the start of Q3.

    Verstappen brushed off the boos when speaking in the FIA press conference later on, saying it was “a bit disappointing” that he could not hear the interviewer, Billy Monger.

    “If they want to boo, they do that,” Verstappen said. “For me, it’s not going to change anything. I’m happy to always be here. It’s a great track, great atmosphere in general.

    “Maybe some of them don’t like me, but that’s fine. They all have their own opinions. I don’t care.”

    Verstappen defeated Hamilton in a fierce fight for the championship last year in Abu Dhabi, winning the title in controversial fashion following the erroneous safety car restart ahead of the final lap.

    But Hamilton made clear he did not agree with the booing at his home grand prix, saying: “I think we are better than that.

    “I would say we don’t need to do booing, but we have got such great fans and our sporting fans, they feel emotions, ups and downs, but I definitely don’t agree with booing.

    “I don’t think we need to do that. It doesn’t make any difference when you boo someone either, they have already made the mistakes or whatever it is.

    “But I really do appreciate the support I have had here. I don’t know, maybe some of them are still feeling the pain from last year still. Either way, I don’t agree.”

    It is not the first time there has been booing amid the rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen. At last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, in the wake of their crash at Silverstone, Hamilton was subject to boos from the crowds.

    A number of drivers have discussed abuse they have received from fans in recent weeks. On Thursday, George Russell revealed he had been booed by a random fan in Montreal, and called for abuse to be “stamped out”.

    “We shouldn’t be seeing any booing in any sports,” Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said after qualifying.

    “I think that’s unsportsmanlike. It’s clear that we love the support the drivers have here and the team, that’s fantastic, and the enthusiasm. But if you’re not into the other guys, just remain silent. That would be a good way.

    “The booing, I think none of the drivers deserve any booing whatever happened last year, whatever the competition is.”

    Although Wolff said it was good that fans were “emotionally engaged” with F1, he said the booing was “a step further”.

    “Imagine yourself standing out there giving an interview or being on the podium, being booed is abusive,” Wolff said.

    “That’s why the emotional sport that is controversial. [If] you are a fan or not a fan of one or the other driver, that’s good. But there is a certain limit that we shouldn’t overstep.”

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