October 3, 2022

A masterful lap in a wet British Grand Prix qualifying saw Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz claim his first Formula 1 pole position, beating Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, who had led much of the session.

Rain had started falling on Silverstone just minutes before qualifying began, with Verstappen comfortably leading Q1 and Q2. Verstappen was then leading Q3 in the dying moments when Sainz fired his final lap to stop the lap times at 1m 40.983 and take P1 with an effort he described in disbelief as “terrible”. On the weekend of his 150th Grand Prix start, however, terrible did very well.

Sainz was 0.072 seconds ahead of Verstappen, with Leclerc P3, 0.315 seconds behind his team-mate – Leclerc and Verstappen both having suffered spins in Q3 on promising laps.

Sergio Perez was P4 in the second Red Bull, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, with Lando Norris P6, as Fernando Alonso and George Russell completed the top eight. Zhou Guanyu was P9, while Nicholas Latifi survived a scary exit at Turn 1 to take P10, in his first-ever Q3 appearance.



Running of the red bulls


Running of the red bulls


Pierre Gasly was P11 for AlphaTauri, ahead of the second Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas and his own team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon having fallen foul of deteriorating conditions in Q2 and failing to pull through , taking P14 and P15.

Failing to exit Q1, Alex Albon was P16 – despite being fitted with Williams’ extensive upgrade package, which Latifi did not have – while Haas and Aston Martins also exited in the first segment, l Order Kevin Magnussen in P17, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher and Lance Stroll.

So Sainz finally secured that first-ever pole position. But can the first victory take place on Sunday, on a Silverstone track that he adores? Plug into knowledge.

Qualifying Highlights: British Grand Prix


Q1 – Haas and Aston Martins retire as rain soaks Silverstone track

Just 10 minutes from the start of qualifying, a troop of ever-reliable British rain clouds poured their contents over the Silverstone circuit, causing a dive for all teams on the intermediate tires – and a heavy traffic jam before the green light as the pilots sought to secure a bank lap on the board in case the rain intensified.

As it happens, the rain actually slowed down throughout the opening segment, with a drier line appearing around the iconic 3.6-mile track as Verstappen set the first benchmark with a 1m 40.452, passing at 1m 39.975s one lap later, 0.655s ahead of Leclerc.

The question now was whether the track would improve enough for the teams to adapt to the slicks. But ultimately, as the track improved, it didn’t improve enough for the treadless tires.

With the clock at zero in the opening 18-minute qualifying, Leclerc fired back at Verstappen to briefly claim top spot, only for a sublime all-purple sector lap from Verstappen to see him post a 1m 39.129s, 0.717s higher. on the Monegasque, while George Russell is placed P3, 0.899s from the ultimate pace, ahead of Sainz, Hamilton and Perez.

In order, Daniel Ricciardo risked an embarrassing Q1 exit at the scene of his F1 debut 11 years ago, before a final push propelled him to an eventual P14. At Williams, and despite not being equipped with his team-mate’s important series of improvements, Nicholas Latifi made Q2 for the first time this season in P15, with Alex Albon in P16 by 0.080 and lamenting the strategy of Williams to use cool-turns rather than continuing to drive hard.

The weather reflected the mood at Haas and Aston Martin, as both teams lost both cars in Q1, with Vettel expressing his dismal frustration at a series of slams.

Eliminated: Albon, Magnussen, Vettel, Schumacher, Stroll

Albon took an early bath

Q2 – Latifi makes his first appearance in Q3 at the expense of Ocon and Ricciardo

Everyone was now trying to get an idea of ​​what the weather was going to do for the rest of qualifying – with the airwaves full of engineers offering different weather opinions…

It turned out that the rain would increase steadily throughout Q2, meaning drivers who got a good lap on the board early in the race would have a clear advantage. Verstappen led the way again, with a lap of 1m 40.655s which was around a second and a half slower than he managed in Q1, with Hamilton – someone who knows a thing or two about take a lap at Silverstone in the wet – ranking P2, 0.407 is off.

With the checkered flag flying for Q2, the time sheets were a sea of ​​yellow, with none of the drivers in the last five elimination zones improving on their latest efforts. This means Esteban Ocon found himself in P15, one place behind Ricciardo’s McLaren. Both AlphaTauris also retired – although given their pace struggles this weekend, 11th for Gasly and 13th for Tsunoda might not be such a bad thing – with Bottas 12th.

Nicholas Latifi has been one of the drivers to put in a strong start to the lap – and it was good enough to bring the Williams driver under pressure into Q3 for the first time in his career, as he took 10th just behind Zhou Guanyu, the Chinese driver continuing his impressive run as the only Alfa in the top 10.

So it’s the two Red Bulls, Ferraris and Mercedes in Q3, joined by McLaren’s Norris, Alpine’s Alonso and the aforementioned Zhou and Latifi.

Eliminated: Gasly, Bottas, Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Ocon


Ricciardo retired in Q2 as Norris succeeded

Q3 – Sainz takes his first pole position as Verstappen and Leclerc spin

The inters remained the tire of the day for Q3, while rumors of a further rain shower adding to the existing fog were heard over the team radio as the drivers headed to the slick Silverstone track. Once again, it seemed, a banker’s trick was needed.

Verstappen seemed to put one on, when he spun wildly out of Stowe, his RB18 performing a neat pirouette. Was he confused? No, as he then posted two purple sectors en route to P2, before improving his second effort to set a 1m 42.966s. “More rain expected, keep pushing,” Verstappen said, and the Dutchman duly kept his footing and continued to lap.

With two minutes remaining, it was Hamilton’s Verstappen and Leclerc, those three who looked set to battle it out for the qualifying spoils. But then out of nowhere came Sainz, who had flown under the radar since leading FP2 on Friday afternoon. And with the clock down to zero, Sainz took the checkered flag with a lap that was good enough for provisional pole.

Verstappen and Leclerc were going fast behind – but Leclerc spun off at Turn 14, with yellow flags forcing Verstappen to lift and hand pole position to Sainz.

When the Spaniard was informed of his triumph, he replied in disbelief: “I was terrible there! How did I get P1?!”

“You stayed on course like a good operator!” laughed his engineer.

2022 British GP qualifying: Carlos Sainz takes sensational first pole at Silverstone

Experience ecstatic scenes in the Ferrari garage as the Scuderia celebrated its popular Spanish charge. Verstappen was satisfied enough to settle for P2, the man in form throughout qualifying missing just 0.072 seconds as Leclerc was third, ahead of Perez.

Hamilton had appeared to threaten a front-row start but was ultimately ‘gutted’ to take fifth to eighth from team-mate Russell on a day that Mercedes admitted was a little disappointing – given their suite of upgrades for the W13.

Between the Silver Arrows were “very satisfied” Lando Norris and Fernando Alonso. Zhou Guanyu finished ninth, while a big spin from Latifi at Turn 1 in Q3, from which the Canadian was lucky to escape without damage, eventually left him 10th.


Sainz was congratulated by 1992 champion Nigel Mansell

key quote

“First of all, thank you to all the crowd for the encouragement and thank you all for staying there with this rain. Spaniards, we are struggling a bit more with this rain, but you can say that you are used to it. Thanks for being there, it was a good lap but I struggled with the standing water – on the intermediates there was a lot more standing water on the racing line It was very easy to ride. get snapshots.

“In the end, I put together a lap that I didn’t think was anything special, but I just put it on the board and saw how it was. Pole position is that. is a bit of a surprise… Based on my FP2 pace then we should be in a good position to try and keep it up. I’m sure Max and Charles will put a lot of pressure on it, but I’ll do my best of course” – Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

And after?

The British Grand Prix will take place at 3:00 p.m. local time on Sunday, July 3. Lewis Hamilton sets off in search of what would be an all-time record ninth victory at an F1 venue – and his home to boot. Can he get away with it? Or will it be Carlos Sainz who gets his first-ever win? We can’t wait to find out.