Ferrari star Carlos Sainz won a qualification at Silverstone, much to the surprise of the Spaniard himself. Max Verstappen shares the front row with columns.
Shortly before the start of the qualification, rain began to fall on the Silverstone circuit. So the GP stars were forced to address the last training session on intermediate tires. The outside temperature had dropped to 15.5 degrees Celsius and the track was below 21 degrees when first-time times flashed on controls.
With the exception of two Alpine players Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, both drivers retired in the first five minutes. And it didn’t take long for the first driver to make a mistake either: Valtteri Bottas turned around in 17th Turn, causing a brief period of alertness with Charles Leclerc leading the way. Behind him was Max Verstappen, until Lewis Hamilton set the second fastest time so far.
Verstappen did not allow it to stay and got a 1: 42.814 minute answer which put him back. But the excitement did not last long, for Leclerc followed 1: 42.129 min. Verstappen responded with a new score of 1: 40.452 minutes after George Russell took first place for a short time.
Four minutes before the end of the period, Mick Schumacher was in last place, with Nicholas Latifi, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsotaka and Daniel Ricciardo also worried about progress. At the other end of the clock, Verstappen meanwhile pushed the record to 1: 39.975 minutes, before Leclerc was on P1 for a short time again towards the end. But Verstappen burned 1: 39.129 minutes on the pitch and thus found the best moment in Q1.
For all German drivers, the temporary search was already over after the first qualifying round: Sebastian Vettel ended up in 18th place, Schumacher lined up behind him. Alex Albon (P16), Kevin Magnussen (P17) and Lance Stroll (P20) were also allowed to take a shower.
Valtteri Bottas bitter pill
In the second qualifying round, Hamilton complained about tremors in his set of tires, but still finished fourth behind Verstappen, Leclerc and Sainz. However, the local hero was recently approved as the Q2 candidates improved. Hamilton also circled the song fast, but Verstappen kept pace, leading with a time of 1: 40.655 minutes.
With five minutes to go before Q2, Gasly, Bottas, Tsunes, Ricciardo and Ocon needed to be upgraded to cross to Q3 and the task was not easy as the rain began to fall again. However, the drivers who were in the top 10 also got into trouble. Latifi circled around in Phase 3 but managed to keep jumping in tenth place. After that he twisted the first corner with great joy.
Bottas complained on the radio about poor looks, failed to pass 12th place and was in the second group of losers, including Pierre Gasly (P11), Tsotaka (P13), Ricciardo (P14) and Ocon (P15). Verstappen, Hamilton, Leclerc, Sainz, Norris, Zhou, Hamilton, Russell, Alonso, Pérez and Latifi, on the other hand, made it to the top 10.
In Q3, viewers saw several spins, first Verstappen made a pirouette for 15 turns, then Sin Latifi circled in the first corner. Verstappen then made the adjustment using 1: 42.996 minutes, placing him in first place. But that did not matter because Leclerc and Sainz followed suit.
Verstappen responded with a time of 1: 41.055 minutes, but that was not enough, because Sainz followed in 1: 40.983 minutes and made it to a good point. The Spaniard will fill the front row with Verstappen, followed by Leclerc and Pérez. The first one went around in turn 14 on the last attempt. Hamilton, Norris, Alonso, Russell, Zhou and Latifi followed in the top 10.
Polesitter Sainz explained: “That was a good cycle, I worked hard on the middle tires and the water stopped in the race line and it was easy to make mistakes. But in the end I got a good thigh and it was a little weird that it was enough for the pole. “
Verstappen explained: “It was a difficult graduation session with rain and changing circumstances. You had to be on track at the right time and I think the car was pretty good overall. But in Q3 it tends to be a lottery because you have to do a quick rotation and I was slowed down by the yellow flags on my last attempt. But the place on the front row is still nice. And we have a very good race car in a dry and wet area. “
Leclerc breathed a sigh of relief as usual: “I’m disappointed, but at the same time I’m happy for Carlos, because he did a good job today. I missed the final round so I didn’t deserve the apology, but third place is still a good starting point.”