Carlos Sainz Jr. took the first pole position of his Formula 1 career at a wet qualifying session for the British Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver pipped Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to pole by just 0.072 seconds, with the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in third.
It was a very tight and tense qualifying with the rain only arriving just minutes before the start of the session, with conditions around the Silverstone circuit changing every few laps.
All three British drivers made the top 10, with Mercedes duo Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell fifth and eighth while McLaren’s Lando Norris will start sixth to the delight of the home fans.
Sainz Jr. has looked quick all season, but bad luck has prevented the 27-year-old from taking full advantage of his machinery, so the Spaniard was overjoyed to finally qualify on pole for what will be his 150th race start.
‘Thanks to everyone in the crowd for staying out here with this rain,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘We Spaniards struggle a bit more with rain, but I know you guys are used to it!
‘It was a good lap, but I was struggling a lot with the standing water on the racing line. It was very easy to lose control and lose the lap, also more difficult to get the temperature into the tyres in these conditions.
‘In the end I put together a lap that I didn’t think was anything special but its pole position which comes as a bit of a surprise.’
Verstappen looked quick all qualifying and the championship leader will still be the favourite to win Sunday’s race, but Sainz Jr. is confident he can take victory and claim the first win of his F1 career.
He added: ‘The pace has been there all weekend. We should be in a good position to hold onto the lead.
‘I’m sure Max and Charles will put a lot of pressure [on me] but I will try my best of course.’
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