Aand welcome to one of the best days on the British sports calendar. And perhaps one of the most beautiful days on the world sports calendar. It’s the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. It has been a strange and disrupted weekend so far with little on dry land. FP1 and qualifying were both in wet conditions and yesterday it was Carlos Sainz who prevailed in the swampy conditions, taking his first F1 pole position, his Ferrari fastest ahead of Max Verstappen and then teammate Charles Leclerc.
Sainz said he was surprised to take pole position as he thought his fastest lap in Q3 was “decent”, but apparently nothing more. Conditions were consistently wet – although not wet enough for extremely wet tires – although they varied slightly. Perhaps if Verstappen hadn’t been bothered by a yellow flag in the middle sector on his last run, pole would have been his place. After all, he was within a tenth of a second of Sainz.
Mercedes – and Hamilton in particular – looked strong all session. Certainly in the battle for the front row, if not something even better. Still, Hamilton only finished fifth after what appeared to be a disagreement over a push-lap and a warm-up lap. Teammate George Russell was three places further back after a disappointing session. He will start behind the impressive Lando Norris (McLaren, sixth) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine, seventh). This track should have been better for Mercedes and Hamilton said yesterday that he still had hopes of a podium finish. But we’ll have to wait and see.
Perhaps a surprising subplot (or perhaps not) was that Verstappen was booed during his post-qualifying interview. There is clearly still a bit of a bad feeling among British (and Hamilton) fans. It was by no means a majority, but the noise was not insignificant. Anyway, he fired them afterwards.
“It was a bit disappointing,” said Verstappen. “I couldn’t really understand Billy – it was a problem. But if they want to captivate, they will. Nothing changes for me. Maybe some of them don’t like me. That’s fine. They all have their own opinion and I don’t care.”
The race kicks off at 3pm BST and we’ll be here for all the build-up, live updates and reactions from what we hope will be another Silverstone cracker like so many of them.