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SILVERSTONE, UK – One hundred and fifty races later, Carlos Sainz Jr. made it.
The Ferrari driver took the first pole position of his career at the end of qualifying for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix on Saturday, while a Canadian driver scored a little further back.
Sainz Jr. clocked a time of one minute 40,983 seconds in difficult track conditions – the rain was intermittent and the thermometer read only 14 degrees Celsius – at the Silverstone circuit, cutting 72 thousandths of a second from the current championship leader , Max Verstappen, Red Bull driver.
“It was a good lap, but I had problems with the puddles that formed on the track. It was very easy to skid and lose temperature with the intermediate tires, ”Sainz Jr. said after the session.
Verstappen had serious fears in the rain during the final stretch of qualifying, including being the victim of an irrelevant spin and a brief off-track visit. This deprived him of great opportunities to take the lead from the Spaniard.
“It was a very difficult qualifying session in the rain; you had to be on the track at the right time. It’s still a great result because I’m on the front row on the grid and we have a good car in the dry and in the wet, ”explained Verstappen, booing the British crowd.
For his part, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc followed in third place, 0.315 seconds behind his team-mate, while Red Bull driver Sergio Perez set the fourth fastest time.
“I’m very happy for Carlos, he did a good job today. I slipped on my last flying lap and knew it was my last chance (beating Sainz Jr.), but I didn’t deserve it today. The pace is there and if we have a good car (tomorrow) then everything should be fine, “said the Monegasque.
His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, seven-time F1 world champion, completed the top 5.
Followed in order by Lando Norris (McLaren), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), George Russell (Mercedes), Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo).
However, it was the Toronian Nicholas Latifi who carried out the feat of the day.
The Williams driver took 10th on the starting grid, despite not having the same upgrades as his teammate, Alexander Albon’s car, this weekend. So, for the first time this season, Latifi moved on to Q2 and Q3, while Albon qualified 16th.
For his part, Quebecer Lance Stroll had another miserable qualifying session at Aston Martin and on Sunday he will have to start from 20th and last place on the grid.
Verstappen, the reigning world champion, had dominated the third free practice session on Saturday.
The Dutchman is looking for his seventh win in 10 races so far this season and his sixth in the last seven events. He leads the Drivers’ Championship with 175 points, 46 more than his closest rival, Perez. Leclerc is third at 126.
Hamilton, 37, is the reigning champion of the British Grand Prix.
Ranking of the 3rd part (Q3) of the qualifying session :
1. Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP / Ferrari) 1: 40.983
2. Max Verstappen (NED / Red Bull) 1: 41.055
3. Charles Leclerc (LUN / Ferrari) 1: 41.298
4. Sergio Perez (MEX / Red Bull) 1: 41.616
5. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes) 1: 41.995
6. Lando Norris (GBR / McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 42.084
7. Fernando Alonso (ESP / Alpine-Renault) 1: 42.116
8. George Russell (GBR / Mercedes) 1: 42.161
9. Zhou Guanyu (CHN / Alfa Romeo) 1: 42.719
10. Nicholas Latifi (CAN / Williams-Mercedes) 2: 03.095
Eliminated in Q2 :
11. Pierre Gasly (FRA / AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1: 43.702
12. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Alfa Romeo) 1: 44.232
13. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN / Alpha Tauri-Red Bull) 1: 44.311
14. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS / McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 44.355
15. Esteban Ocon (FRA / Alpine-Renault) 1: 45.190
Eliminated in Q1 :
16. Alexander Albon (THA / Williams-Mercedes) 1: 42.078
17. Kevin Magnussen (DEN / Haas-Ferrari) 1: 42.159
18. Sebastian Vettel (GER / Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 42.666
19. Mick Schumacher (GER / Haas-Ferrari) 1: 42.708
20. Lance Stroll (CAN / Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 43.430