Not bad for a Spaniard in the rain – Carlos Sainz celebrates maiden pole

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Carlos Sainz put his Ferrari on pole position for the British Grand Prix and declared “not bad for a Spaniard in the rain”.

Sainz, 27, will occupy the front of the grid on Sunday after he beat Max Verstappen to top spot by 0.072 seconds in the challenging conditions at Silverstone. Sainz’s team-mate Charles Leclerc, who trails Verstappen by 49 points, qualified third.

“Thanks everyone for staying out there in this rain,” said Sainz to the 120,000-strong crowd. “Spaniards usually struggle with the rain, but you guys are used to it.

“I put together a lap, just to get on the board, and I did not think it was something special. But they told me it was pole position and that came as a bit of a surprise.”

Sainz’s second season with Ferrari has been something of a struggle, but his pole here comes a fortnight after he finished a close second to Verstappen in Canada.

His hope now will be to covert his maiden pole, only the second for a Spaniard in F1 – the other being Fernando Alonso – into a maiden win. Can Sainz do it?

Carlos Sainz celebrates after claiming his first pole in Formula One
Carlos Sainz celebrates after claiming his first pole in Formula One (Bradley Collyer/PA)

“I think so,” said Sainz. “The pace has been there all weekend. If I base myself on practice pace on Friday, then we should be in a good position to try and hold on to it.

“I’m sure Max and Charles will put a lot of pressure on, but I will try my best.”

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