Formula 1

Formula 1: Supreme Sainz seals maiden pole position at soggy Silverstone.

Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter

Carlos Sainz has taken his first pole position in formula 1 with a brilliant drive in tricky conditions at silverstone. Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc round out the top 3.

5 minutes before qualifying started, the rain started to fall. Classic British conditions, almost a guarantee for drama.

Q1 – Verstappen storms, Headache for Haas and Aston

The cars lined up on the pitlane with the intermediate tyres bolted on. As the rain was getting heavier, they were all desperate to set a lap as early as possible.

There were intense rooster tails following the cars, causing huge visability problems. Initially, Verstappen topped the tables ahead of Albon and Schumacher. However, Leclerc soon leapt to 1st, with Hamilton following. Despite the rain, the track was gradually improving.

Shockingly, the drivers behaved themselves during the treacherous conditions, with only 1 yellow flag for a brief spin from Bottas.

Toward the end of the session, the rain eased, providing a dry line. This gave a fantastic opportunity for some of the drivers in the elimination zone to escape. Numerous cars jumped up in the dying moments, but Haas and Aston Martin suffered a nightmare with all of their drivers eliminated. Albon had a host of upgrades on his car, but worringly, Latifi edged him out of 15th.

Up front, Verstappen finished the session 1st, 0.7s ahead of Leclerc.

Eliminated:

  • 16th Albon
  • 17th Magnussen
  • 18th Vettel
  • 19th Schumacher
  • 20th Stroll

Q2 – Tough eliminations in desperate conditions

Conditions had gotten worse before Q2 started, but it was still intermediate running.

Sainz appeared to be in a troubling position after not taking an early run. As the rain got worse, the Ferrari driver was stuck in 14th. However, he was able to climb to 4th a few laps later, still 1s off pole.

With 5 laps to go, lap times were not improving. Latifi had been able to put his Williams in 10th and had a superb chance to make Q3.

A radio message from Norris confirmed aquaplaining taking place, meaning that the ideal tyre was now the slower wet tyre.

The conditions meant that the bottom 5 drivers would not have an opportunity to improve. This led to some shocks, most notably Ricciardo and Ocon, who had a Saturday to forget finishing 14th and 15th respectively.

Yet again, Verstappen led the session, this time 0.4s ahead of Hamilton.

Eliminated:

  • 11th Gasly
  • 12th Bottas
  • 13th Tsunoda
  • 14th Ricciardo
  • 15th Ocon

Q3 – Sainz’s surprise

The fluctuating conditions were playing havoc with the drivers as the ideal tyre now reverted back to intermediates.

Before starting his first flying lap, Verstappen had trouble with grip, almost heading off the track. This was made worse as he spun through sector 3. He was able to get the car pointing back in the right direction, but his lap was ruined. Shockingly, Alonso and Zhou led the way after the inital runs, with Norris in 3rd.

The second runs were a return to normality, with Leclerc leading Verstappen.

The track was improving and all the cars were jumping up and down the grid. None of the cars dared to pit, lapping constantly as rain was predicted at the very death of the session.

The last minute of Qualifying was a masterclass from the top 10 drivers. Each lap saw massive improvements and nothing was certain. However Leclerc’s talent ran out on his final lap with a spin. Amid the chaos Sainz jumped to pole and was able to stay there to take his first ever pole position. Verstappen suffered on sector 2 during his final lap and was unable to improve from 2nd. Leclerc maintained 3rd, just ahead of Perez. Hamilton took 5th, ahead of countryman Norris, who showed a solid performance. Alonso wasn’t able to replicate his mastery from last week and took 7th, in front of Russell. While Zhou and Latifi rounded out the top 10.

Results:

  1. Sainz
  2. Verstappen
  3. Leclerc
  4. Perez
  5. Hamilton
  6. Norris
  7. Alonso
  8. Russell
  9. Zhou
  10. Latifi

Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter

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