Carlos Sainz pips Max Verstappen to British Grand Prix pole at wet Silverstone

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Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain celebrates after he clocked the fastest time during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 2, 2022 - AP
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz of Spain celebrates after he clocked the fastest time during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 2, 2022 - AP

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz took a maiden pole position at a wet Silverstone, narrowly ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen. Sainz's team-mate Charles Leclerc finished third.

Sainz had struggled with various mistakes and reliability issues so far this season, but continued his good form from Canada in Great Britain.

Verstappen narrowly beat him to victory in Montreal two weeks ago will have his best chance to win his first Grand Prix on Sunday when he starts on the front row ahead of his former Toro Rosso team-mate.

Sergio Perez was fourth in the second Red Bull ahead of Britons Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris.

Mercedes had looked stronger than they have been since Barcelona so far this weekend and Hamilton threatened the front row for much of Saturday's qualifying. With conditions ever-changing, though, fifth was the best the seven-time champion could manage, three places ahead of team-mate George Russell.

McLaren's Norris made it two Britons in the top six for the race with another strong showing, with Fernando Alonso seventh.

Sainz seemed surprised to take pole with what he described as a "decent" lap.

"I had no idea where I was going to qualify. I didn't know what lap time I had to do to get pole."

"A first pole position is always special, especially to do it in Silverstone - it feels very good," he said.

Verstappen who leads Sergio Perez in the standings by 46 points and Leclerc by 49, shrugged off boos from some of the home fans in his post-session interview.

"It was a bit disappointing because I couldn't understand Billy [Monger, who conducted the interviews]," he said.

"If they want to do that they do that. I am always happy to be here. Maybe some of them don't like me but it's fine, they have their own opinions. I don't care."

British Grand Prix qualifying classification

  1. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa) Ferrari 1min 40.983secs

  2. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:41.055

  3. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:41.298

  4. Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:41.616

  5. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:41.995

  6. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:42.084

  7. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:42.116

  8. George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:42.161

  9. Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:42.719

  10. Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 2:03.095

  11. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:43.702

  12. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:44.232

  13. Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:44.311

  14. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:44.355

  15. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:45.190

  16. Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 1:42.078

  17. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:42.159

  18. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1:42.666

  19. Mick Schumacher (Ger) Haas F1 1:42.708

  20. Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:43.430

Test
Test

British Grand Prix qualifying, as it happened

04:44 PM

We will be back tomorrow for all the action from Silverstone

Hopefully a good race, naturally. Shame the order wasn't a bit mixed up but hopefully another good battle between Ferrari and Red Bull. Let's hope Mercedes can get into the mix to make it a bit more interesting. too.

04:34 PM

Not sure what happened to Latifi there

Good session from Norris, though. Has been getting the most out of the McLaren again and a third-row start is about the best it could be for him this weekend. Ahead of Daniel Ricciardo again and ahead of his old mate George Russell.

04:30 PM

Verstappen on the boos

"It was a bit disappointing because I couldn't understand Billy [Monger, asking the questions]. If they want to do that they do that. I am always happy to be here. Maybe some of them don't like me but it's fine, they have their own opinions. I don't care."

04:29 PM

Verstappen did a spin in Q3

But it didn't really cost him.

04:27 PM

I think Mercedes have made a step of some size forward here

Whether that is track-dependent or not or if there is something else out there, I am not sure. If it's a dry race tomorrow we will be able to get more of a handle on that. Fifth and eighth is a bit of a disappointment, though. It must be.

04:15 PM

Well, Sainz has struggled with this Ferrari this season

Has made mistakes of varying size but has, finally, started to find some form. Hassled Verstappen for the win in Canada but just missed out...

A long way to go before his first win tomorrow, though. Would be a popular win, no doubt.

04:09 PM

Leclerc reacts to a slightly disappointing third

Happy for Carlos, he did a great job today. That last lap I knew it was the lap where I had to put it all together and I didn't, so I didn't deserve to be on pole. I think the pace is there. It will be interesting to see who is going for the one or two stop.

04:08 PM

Max Verstappen reacts to his front row start

It was quite a tricky qualifying with the rain. I think overall the car was working quite well. In Q3 it's a bit of a lottery at the end. I think still to be on the front row is very good for us. We have a good race car in the dry and in the wet.

It's not only about the first lap it's also about the race. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Fair to say he gets a few boos from (some) of the home crowd.

04:07 PM

Sainz reacts to a maiden pole

It was a good lap but I was struggling on a lot with the standing water. It was very easy to get snaps and lose the lap, also more difficult to get temperature on the intermediates. In the end I did a lap and I didn't think it was anything special. Pole position came as a bit of a surprise.

The pace has been there all weekend except for FP3 we had some issues that we think we have corrected. We should be in a good position to try and hold onto it. I am sure Max and Charles will put on a lot of pressure.

04:04 PM

Q3 - Top 10

  1. SAI 1:40.983

  2. VER +0.072

  3. LEC +0.315

  4. PER +0.633

  5. HAM +1.012

  6. NOR +1.101

  7. ALO +1.133

  8. RUS +1.178

  9. ZHO +1.736

  10. LAT +22.112

04:03 PM

CARLOS SAINZ TAKES POLE POSITION FOR THE 2022 BRITISH GRAND PRIX

The Ferrari man takes his first pole position! He finishes ahead of Verstappen by just 0.072s with Leclerc in third and Sergio Perez in fourth.

Hamilton was in contention for the front row for much of that session but fell away a bit at the last. Still, a few places ahead of Russell and in fifth.

04:01 PM

Q3 - Sainz crosses the line

To go fastest...

Verstappen is on a good lap... but he's second by 0.072s!

Who is left? A few others. Hamilton on a decent lap but he might struggle to beat Sainz. Only fourth for Hamilton... a second off the pace.

But then he's bumped down by Perez...

04:00 PM

Q3 - Final runs under way

Here's how it stands in the top 10:

  1. VER

  2. LEC

  3. PER

  4. NOR

  5. ALO

  6. SAI

  7. HAM

  8. RUS

  9. ZHO

  10. LAT

03:59 PM

Q3 - Sainz quickest for now...

But then Leclerc beats that... what can Verstappen do? He beats that too! By a couple of tenths.

Can Hamilton do this? He might be the last man (or not far off) to cross the line and have one more shot at it...

03:58 PM

Q3 - Hamilton so close to provisional pole!

He crosses the line 0.027s slower than Verstappen!

Alonso into third! Russell starts another hot lap. This is gripping stuff. Leclerc is on a mega lap... so is Verstappen. They are 1.4s or so up after two sectors.

03:58 PM

Q3 - Verstappen has a poor middle sector

Does that give Hamilton a chance? On this lap, perhaps...

Leclerc into second, by 0.004s ahead of Hamilton, who is on a good lap... what can he do?

03:56 PM

Q3 - Hamilton into second!

Good lap, 0.254s off Verstappen. Russell third, 0.9s off Verstappen with the fastest middle sector.

Verstappen going quicker still again... he is told rain is coming but to keep pushing.

03:56 PM

Q3 - Verstappen on a flyer here

Quickest in the first two sectors and crosses the line 1.8s quicker than Leclerc. Still four minutes to go so times will likely continue to tumble... unless the rain comes again..

03:55 PM

Q3 - Current order

  1. LEC

  2. VER

  3. ALO

  4. PER

  5. HAM

  6. SAI

  7. ZHO

  8. RUS

  9. NOR

  10. LAT

03:55 PM

Q3 - The big boys are improving their times

Leclerc now fastest ahead of Verstappen, Hamilton and Sainz... the track is improving. This could be tight. Last man across the line does it?

Verstappen on another good lap... Alonso back into third. Not much in it.

03:53 PM

Q3 - Zhou tops the timesheets

Ahead of Norris, Leclerc and Perez.

But Alonso is on a great lap... he goes three seconds quicker than Zhou! And fastest. 

03:52 PM

Q3 - Leclerc a second quicker than Sainz in sector two

Verstappen spins! And ruins his lap!

03:51 PM

Q3 - Leclerc a tenth quicker than Sainz in S1

But Verstappen is a couple of tenths quicker than them both... despite that moment on the previous lap. Hamilton is more than two seconds off that in sector one alone...

03:50 PM

Q3 - 10 mins to go

It's intermediates at the moment, though it has stopped raining. Sainz is warned of a possible shower towards the end of the session.

Verstappen gets a bit twitchy in the final  corners which surely must have compromised the start of his first flying lap.

03:48 PM

Q3 begins!

12 minutes to go. 10 drivers, only one man on pole. Ferrari lead the way ready to go at the end of the pit lane.

03:47 PM

Weather update ahead of Q3

Still raining, a bit. But has cleared up a little.

03:46 PM

Silverstone is supposed to be a difficult track

But we've barely had any yellow flags, or even spins, let alone any red flags or crashes.

03:45 PM

Another fine lap from Zhou

I think that's three qualifying sessions in a row that he has beaten Bottas now, after failing to do so in the previous seven.

03:43 PM

Verstappen had a minor off in the middle of that sector

But never really got close to crashing. Verstappen looking the master of these conditions so far but you can't discount Hamilton in these conditions. Surely?

03:42 PM

Q2 - Top 10 and gaps

These drivers are through to Q3.

  1. VER 1:40.655

  2. HAM +0.407

  3. LEC +0.592

  4. SAI +0.947

  5. RUS +1.070

  6. NOR +1.166

  7. ALO +1.554

  8. PER +1.858

  9. ZHO +1.985

  10. LAT +2.618

03:41 PM

Q2 ends - Latifi is through!

Big hugs and cheers in the Williams garage.

Here's who went out: GAS, BOT, TSU, RIC, OCO

03:39 PM

Q2 - Two minutes remain

Bottas says he "can't see s---". The rain has eased off slightly now but it is still falling as it has been all session.

03:37 PM

Q2 - Norris complains of aquaplaning

Not sure we will see much, if any, improvement from here.

It's currently Gasly, Bottas, Tsunoda, Ricciardo and Ocon in the bottom five. 

03:36 PM

Q2 - Current Top 10 with four mins left

  1. VER

  2. HAM +0.407

  3. LEC +0.592

  4. SAI +0.947

  5. RUS +1.070

  6. NOR +1.166

  7. ALO +1.554

  8. PER +1.858

  9. ZHO +1.985

  10. LAT +2.618

03:34 PM

Q2 - Sainz improves

And he needed to. He is now fourth. Quite a big differential from the top few drivers to those at the bottom of the timesheets. It's definitely getting wetter. Wonder if anyone will be able to improve?

03:33 PM

Q2 - Seven mins remain

Drivers in the drop zone: 

11. BOT
12. TSU
13. RIC
14. SAI
15. OCO

03:32 PM

Q2 - Leclerc pips Verstappen

But then Verstappen respons with a 1:40.655. Hamilton with a good time, good enough for second, but four-tenths off Verstappen's pace. Times are coming down even though the conditions are getting worse.

03:31 PM

Q2 - Verstappen leads Perez, with Zhou in third

Hamilton fourth and Russell fifth. Verstappen quickest over Perez by a second. Yep, still looks to have the conditions mastered.

03:30 PM

Q2 - Every car on track now

The rain appears to have intensified. Initial lap times about three-four seconds or so slower than what we ended the last session with.

03:27 PM

Q2 - 13 mins remain

No surprise that  it's all on the intermediates. Albon was not happy about having to do a cool down lap. He was eliminated. Hamilton, on track now, complains of "massive vibrations" on his tyres. He's only on his out lap.

03:25 PM

Q2 begins!

15 minutes to go, 15 drivers in it and 10 to go through.

03:24 PM

Russell told by his team they think it will be light rain throughout Q1 and Q2

It's a persistent drizzle at the moment. It's not coming down sideways like it was just before the session started, though.

03:22 PM

Q1 - Top 15 and gaps

  1. VER 1:39.129

  2. LEC +0.717

  3. RUS +0.899

  4. SAI +1.061

  5. HAM +1.299

  6. PER +1.392

  7. ZHO +1.662

  8. BOT +2.267

  9. NOR +2.386

  10. ALO +2.469

  11. GAS +2.551

  12. OCO +2.601

  13. TSU +2.764

  14. RIC +2.804

  15. LAT +2.869

03:21 PM

Q1 ends - Verstappen quickest

Here's who is eliminated: ALB, MAG, VET, MSC, STR.

03:20 PM

Q1 - Final runs under way

Track is improving but a few drivers still struggling to improve. Haas and Aston Martin in particular not looking good.

03:19 PM

Q1 - Leclerc goes fastest for a brief moment

Only to be beaten by Verstappen by 0.7s moments later. Seems like in all conditions the RB in his hands is excellent.

03:18 PM

Q1 - Hamilton into second

Within half a second of Verstappen. Russell in fifth but has just posted the fastest first sector of the session.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 2, 2022 - AP
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the qualifying session for the British Formula One Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit, in Silverstone, England, Saturday, July 2, 2022 - AP

Sainz third, Leclerc fourth and Russell fifth.

03:16 PM

Q1 - Verstappen leads Leclerc by 0.655s

I think we might get at least one driver to try dry tyres... not that there's much margin for error at the moment. Maybe not, actually. Ricciardo trying to get himself out of the bottom five and is on course for that at the moment.

Could be a manic end to the session.

03:13 PM

Q1 - Five mins remain

Verstappen leads Leclerc, Sainz, Russell, Norris and Alonso.

Stroll, Vettel, Tsunoda, Ricciardo and Schumacher in the drop zone. 

03:11 PM

Q1 - Russell fastest!

Nice. It doesn't last for long, though. Verstappen beats it by 1.3s or so. The rain has eased up now, almost totally. Will it be dry enough for dry tyres yet? Not yet, but perhaps at the end of the session.

03:09 PM

Q1 - Top 10 as it stands

  1. LEC

  2. PER

  3. VER

  4. NOR

  5. RUS

  6. HAM

  7. SAI

  8. ALB

  9. BOT

  10. ZHO

03:09 PM

Q1 - Lap times tumbling at the moment

Nine minutes remain. Sainz up into third. Tsunoda, Latifi, Alonso, Ocon and Vettel currently in the drop zone. The Alpines yet to set a lap time, though.

03:08 PM

Q1 - Verstappen back to the top

He beats Leclerc as Perez slots in into third ahead of Hamilton and Russell.

Then Leclerc beats Verstappen again with a 1:42.129.

03:06 PM

Q1 - Hamilton into second

0.359s off Leclerc, but Russell is about a second slower than that...

Verstappen then goes quickest by 1.778s. He really is a master in the wet. And a good car is generally a good car in the wet.

Albon into second! Mick Schumacher into third! I think there is a dry-ish line emerging now? The track is getting better, in any case.

03:05 PM

Q1 - Leclerc fastest so far

Only six drivers to have set a time, yellow flags out for some reason... nothing for too long so must have been a spinner somewhere.

Hamilton and Russell both on their first timed laps.

03:03 PM

Q1 - Ricciardo told that the rain should stop in the next eight minutes or so

Nobody wants to see that!

Charles Leclerc has started his hot lap. Both Alpines still in the garage for some reason.

03:02 PM

Q1 - 16 mins remain

Everyone who has gone out, and that is mostly everyone, is on the intermediates. But will the rain get better or worse throughout Q1 and indeed the whole hour?

03:00 PM

GREEN LIGHT: Q1 BEGINS

This is going to be mega. I think. How many red flags do you reckon?

02:59 PM

There is a queue at the end of the pit lanes

Still a couple of minutes to go...

02:56 PM

Here it is...

Rain falls in the paddock - Telegraph
Rain falls in the paddock - Telegraph

Not sure my photo from inside the media centre does it justice, but it's quite steady.

02:52 PM

Confirmed: It is raining in the last few corners

And it looks like it is only going to get heavier.  I don't think it's going to last especially long, the wind is strong today, but it is going to make it difficult out there. Would be surprised if anyone starts the session (which starts in seven or so minutes) on dry tyres...

02:48 PM

I don't especially want to keep talking about the weather

But it is really quite grey and dark over the circuit. I think the rain is approaching. Good. It looks like it could be more than a few spits and spots, too.

02:42 PM

We're about 20 minutes out

Chances of rain? Looking increasingly likely... could well be a mixed session. That would be fun. Hamilton pole?

02:32 PM

These were the fastest sectors in final practice

They may be useless for taking any notice of if that rain comes. I can't see that we will get a fully wet session, really.

Still, I think signs that Mercedes might be getting there. However slowly.

02:29 PM

The view towards where the weather is (roughly) coming from from the paddock

A view from the back of the media centre - The Telegraph
A view from the back of the media centre - The Telegraph

02:22 PM

Ferrari also struggling with bouncing

Red Bull not so much. Almost looked glued to the ground.

02:17 PM

Current constructor standings

02:15 PM

A more detailed update on that weather coming in

02:14 PM

Looks like the chances of rain during qualifying are increasing

According to BBC Weather it's about a 60 per cent chance in the hour of qualifying. The conditions are quite tricky as it is, actually. It's blustery and the track is not all that warm.

02:09 PM

Driver standings: Top 10

Numerical proof of Verstappen's advantage...

02:07 PM

Verstappen in fine form this weekend

I don't need to say this again, but I will: we really need a Leclerc win or at least a big points swing in his favour. Verstappen is running away with it and, frankly, that is no better than Hamilton (or any other driver) running away with it.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen ahead of the British Grand Prix 2022 at Silverstone, Towcester. Picture date: Saturday July 2, 2022. PA Phot - PA
Red Bull's Max Verstappen ahead of the British Grand Prix 2022 at Silverstone, Towcester. Picture date: Saturday July 2, 2022. PA Phot - PA

Well, unless you're Verstappen, work for Red Bull are a fan of either...

01:59 PM

Weather update: It was spitting a few minutes ago...

But it now appears to have stopped. In any case, the W Series drivers are out there in slick tyres and (surprise) Jamie Chadwick is about to win. It is getting slightly grey in the distance...

01:48 PM

Final times after third practice

  1. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1min 27.901secs

  2. Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:28.311

  3. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:28.348

  4. George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:28.426

  5. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:28.488

  6. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spa) Ferrari 1:28.689

  7. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:29.102

  8. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:29.185

  9. Mick Schumacher (Ger) Haas F1 1:29.510

  10. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:29.520

  11. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:29.552

  12. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1:29.593

  13. Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:29.752

  14. Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 1:29.780

  15. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:29.885

  16. Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:29.892

  17. Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:30.039

  18. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:30.293

  19. Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:30.489

  20. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:30.523

01:00 PM

Good afternoon F1 fans

And welcome to our coverage for qualifying for the 2022 British Grand Prix from Silverstone. The British Grand Prix always feels like a special event and Silverstone is usually a track that produces decent action. Let us hope for more of the same this weekend. Though what the championship really needs is for Max Verstappen to have a bad weekend. He leads team-mate Sergio Perez by 46 points but perhaps a more realistic title challenger is Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who is 49 points adrift. It doesn't seem that long ago that Leclerc was the one with the big lead. Well, after a month or two of Ferrari failure he comes into this weekend with a mammoth task on his hands.

Does final practice give us any hope that this may be the case? It perhaps looked that way for a while during the hour of practice but it did not end that way. Mercedes looked to have made a decent step back towards the front, certainly closer to Ferrari, but the pace of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen looked astonishing in the final part of the session, pulling out a lap of 1:27.901 which was four-tenths quicker than his team-mate Sergio Perez and nearly half a second quicker than the lead Ferrari of Leclerc and the a bit faster still than both Mercedes cars.

How representative is that? We do not yet know and we should find out in qualifying. Or, at least, we might if it stays dry for the entirety of the session. Which is by no means guaranteed, given there are a few showers around. Were some teams running with a more optimised set-up for the wet? Hard to say, again. Whatever, Red Bull appear to have unleashed a significant amount of performance and lap time after yesterday.

And what of Mercedes? There were encouraging signs, for sure, and they look to be closer to the pace of the second quickest team, if not closer to the actual front. George Russell reported that there was "no bouncing" on one of his early runs, but later on in the session Hamilton complained of that issue that has dogged him for the whole season. In any case, fourth and fifth for Russell and Hamilton is not too bad, given they split the Ferraris. Lando Norris was the best of the rest in seventh, which should give some hope for a strong showing from the home drivers.

But, if it's a wet-dry session than who knows?

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