It took Carlos Sainz 151 attempts to earn his first Formula 1 pole. Now he will chase that elusive first victory.
Most important points:
- Max Verstappen was booed by the crowd after his qualifying run at the British GP
- Lewis Hamilton said he disagreed with the booing and called on the crowd to stop
- Daniel Ricciardo came in disappointing 14th after a difficult run in the rain
But alongside Sainz on the front row of the British Grand Prix, he defends F1 champion Max Verstappen, a year away from the crash with Lewis Hamilton that turned their title fight into a bitter rivalry.
Daniel Ricciardo’s battle continued in the wet conditions as the Australian qualified 14th.
Verstappen was booed by some in the crowd after the action-packed qualifying session in the rain, saying he could barely hear his trackside interview questions about the spot.
“If they want to captivate, they will. Nothing changes for me,” he said.
Sainz set the fastest time late in the third qualifying session to lead Verstappen by just 0.072 seconds. It was the seventh pole in 10 races for Ferrari this season, although Sainz’ teammate, Charles Leclerc, had taken the first six poles prior to Sainz’ surprise run.
“First pole position, it’s always special, and especially to do it in the rain at Silverstone,” said Sainz.
“I kept my cool during the session and towards the end I decided to push.”
Sainz narrowly missed what would have been his first career win two weeks ago at the Canadian Grand Prix, finishing just behind Verstappen.
The Spanish driver has been on the podium 11 times in his career, but never on the top step. He finished second three times this season.
Leclerc starts third, ahead of Sergio Pérez in the second Red Bull.
The race is expected to be mostly dry after a rainy qualifying session.
Improved conditions could benefit the two Red Bulls after Verstappen set the fastest lap time of anyone in the final practice session this weekend before the rain started to fall at Silverstone.
Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton qualified fifth for his home race as Mercedes appeared to have made progress with its issues of bouncing at high speed. His teammate George Russell finished eighth.
When Verstappen spoke along the track after qualifying, the boos were audible to the Dutchman and he could barely hear the questions posed during his interview.
Hamilton was not happy with his home crowd’s reaction to his rival.
“I think we’re better than that. I’d say we don’t have to do any booing, but we have such great fans and our sports fans, they feel emotions, ups and downs, but I absolutely disagree with fascinations”, said Hamilton.
“I don’t know, maybe some of them are still feeling the pain from last year. Anyway, I don’t agree.”
Verstappen and Hamilton collided in last year’s race, with Verstappen hitting the wall while Hamilton overcame a penalty to win.
The incident heightened their often bitter rivalry in a title race ultimately won by Verstappen and pitted some British fans against Verstappen.
Ricciardo said conditions played a part in his disappointing run as his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris qualified sixth.
“In the end, of course, I’m disappointed with today’s result,” he said.
“In retrospect I think I had to get the lap early because the track was at its best early on, but then I struggled to get the lap in when it counted.
“I think the driest lap I found, I went away. So there was a dry line, I just caught some of the wet and lost the lap.
“For the most part it felt like I didn’t get the lap when the conditions were at their best and that cost me more than anything today. So that’s up to me.
“It’s brought us back on the grid quite a bit, so we’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow, but we’ll come out swinging.”
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