He had been waiting for it since his first run in F1 in 2015: Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari) on Saturday won its first pole position at the end of qualifying for the British Grand Prix, 10th round of the championship.
“Giving yourself a first pole position is always special, especially at Silverstone – it feels really good,” said today’s hero, who was waiting for the start of his 150th Grand Prix in the premier class to start in the lead on Sunday. He wants his first victory in F1 in the binoculars.
The Scuderia driver, who is currently number five in the preliminary World Cup standings, even offered himself the luxury of winning ahead of the leader, Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), on the wet track at the legendary Silverstone track, while rain dominated much of the qualification. .
“Qualifying was pretty difficult with the rain, you had to be on the track at the right time. I think it’s a good thing to be in the front row for us and we have a good race car in dry and wet.” , assured Verstappen, reigning world champion and solid overall leader.
Second row went to monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), third, and Mexican Sergio Pérez (Red Bull).
“I spun on the last lap and I knew it was the lap where you have to give everything that runs, and I did not do that today, so I did not. I did not deserve it. The pace is there, so if we have a good car, everything should be fine, “reassured Leclerc.
– “More rebounds” for Hamilton –
In front of the spectators winning over to their cause, British Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell took 5th and 8th place respectively.
Mercedes, like Alpine and Williams, arrived at Silverstone with a series of changes to their single seats. For Silver Arrows, it’s about getting back on track after a difficult start to the season due to the new rules for F1.
Hamilton, also a victim of the rain in the very last laps, saw improvements in his car, but, he explains, “we still have some rebounds in the turns at high speeds, and that’s where Red Bull in particular is heading away from us. . “
With only two podiums – in Bahrain and Canada last weekend – in this year’s first nine Grand Prix, Hamilton is only in sixth place in the drivers’ championship.
If the seven-time world champion, encouraged by his audience or favored by a combination of circumstances, were to win on Sunday at home, he would shell out his ninth victory on the famous British course and sign the victory record on the same course.
If he failed, he would sign his 11th GP without a win, a sad record as the Briton would never have waited so long for the win.
– The French are fighting –
The last Briton on the net, Lando Norris (McLaren), snatched 6th place, Spaniard Fernando Alonso was 7th at the wheel of his Alpine, while Chinese Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) took 9th place, his best performance in qualifying since joining to. F1 this season.
Also note the fine performance of Canadian Nicholas Latifi, who drove his Williams for the first time managed to snatch his ticket to the final part of the qualifier. He starts from 10th place on Sunday.
Among the French, no one managed to qualify for the final qualifying session (Q3). Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) starts from 11th place, Esteban Ocon (Alpine) from 15th place.
If Gasly expected it would be “difficult to pass Q2” given his performance in free practice “- and now hoping for a dry track on Sunday – for Ocon, a loss of power attached to the battery in early Q2 is the reason to its modest position.
In terms of weather conditions, Sunday looks set to become more gentle, according to forecasts from Météo France for the International Automobile Federation. But pilots are never safe from the whimsical clouds of the British sky.