Surprise at Silverstone: Carlos Sainz secured pole position for the first time in the rain. The Ferrari driver gave Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc no chance.
Carlos Sainz gave himself a present for his 150th Formula 1 race. For the first time in his career, the Ferrari driver is starting from first place on the grid. With a time of 1:40.983 minutes, he beat his toughest competitors Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.
Standing water on the track
The conditions were anything but easy for the Spaniard. The grip conditions changed throughout qualifying. Sometimes it rained more, sometimes less. The Intermediate rubber was the tire of choice in all three qualifying periods.
"It was a good lap, but I had problems with the intermediates because of the standing water on the track," said Sainz. "You quickly had slides and it wasn't easy to get the temperature in the tires. Pole position is a bit of a surprise."
Verstappen was considered the favorite
Verstappen will also sign that. Because the Red Bull driver looked like the favorite with his best times in Q1 and Q2. But in the end Sainz was 0.072 seconds behind. "It was a difficult qualification," said Verstappen. "You had to be on track at the right time. It was a bit of a lottery. On my last lap I was held up a bit by a yellow flag. But we have a good car in the dry and in the wet."
Charles Leclerc had also expected more than third place, especially since the Ferrari F1-75 had the potential. He was the one who raised the yellow flag to which Verstappen was stuck. "I'm happy for Carlos. I didn't get everything together on the last lap," said the World Championship third, who was 0.315 seconds behind his stable rival. Next to him, Sergio Perez will start from the second row in the Red Bull.
Latifi in Q3
Behind them, Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes and Lando Norris in the McLaren share the third row of the grid. In the meantime, Hamilton complained about vibrations from the intermediate tires. Sixth place is certainly a small success for McLaren.
Fernando Alonso finished seventh in the Alpine ahead of George Russell in the Mercedes. Guanyo Zhou delivered a respectable performance in the Alfa-Sauber with ninth place.
Nicholas Latifi's tenth place is a minor sensation. The Williams driver made it into the third qualifying session with the old version of the car, while Alex Albon ended up 16th in Q1 with the B version. Latifi received a round of applause from the mechanics and engineers in the pits.
Ocon below expectations
On the other hand, other candidates had to bury their hopes early. Pierre Gasly was only 11th in the Alpha Tauri ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa-Sauber. Yuki Tsunoda followed behind in Alpha Tauri. In contrast to teammate Norris, Daniel Ricciardo did not get the full potential out of the McLaren and was only 14th. Esteban Ocon from 15th place should also be disappointed. Because Alpine had wished for rain and was confident with the new update on the car.
Even the first qualifying section offered pure drama. A few minutes before the start of the session it started pouring out of buckets. All pilots took to the track with intermediate tyres. Over time, however, the track dried out more and more and the times tumbled every second. In the end it was a tough exchange of blows, in which it was a matter of a few tenths who would make it into the second qualifying section.
Team Germany out in Q1
Among the candidates who didn't succeed was Team Germany. In addition to Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Mick Schumacher (Haas) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) had to give up early.