Formule 1 - Grand Prix de Grande-Bretagne - Une pole "émouvante" pour Sainz (Ferrari), au bout d'une longue émancipation

Formule 1 – Grand Prix de Grande-Bretagne – Une pole “émouvante” pour Sainz (Ferrari), au bout d’une longue émancipation

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Like the prodigy Kalle Rovanperä, he could have chosen the obvious to follow in the footsteps of his rallyman father Harri, until he nurtured the legitimate ambition of becoming world champion in the category. He is well on his way to achieving that this year. But Carlos Junior was not stung by the rally virus like his father, king of the WRC in 1990 and 1992, in addition to 26 World Cup victories. The man who hates being called “Junior” quickly turned to karting and never left the vein of the track.

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Integrated into the Red Bull sector in 2010, he rose through the ranks one by one and was logically placed as an apprentice in Formula 1 at Toro Rosso, at the same time as a certain Max Verstappen. But he did not follow the same trajectory as the Dutch prodigy. Not having gained the confidence of the all-powerful Helmut Marko, who considered that he did not have the stature of a world champion, he continued to make his ranges at Renault then McLaren, before seizing in 2021 the chance offered by Ferrari. By what was obviously in a number 2 driver role in everyone’s mind but his own.

“A trick that did not look incredible”

Carlos Sainz was until Saturday a label of eternal hope for Formula 1, a career made up of missed opportunities despite great opportunities. Not an extraordinary burst of speed, since he only had Daniil Kvyat on his list in terms of qualifying comparison, at Toro Rosso in 2017. He had not taken the best of Nico Hülkenberg at Renault in 2018 but tied with Lando Norris at McLaren the next two years (10-10 and 8-9) and that may have been what earned him his promotion to red.

But since last year, the Iberian had a difficult confrontation on the chrono lap with Charles Leclerc: 8-13 against Monegasque in 2021 and 0-8 until this Saturday at Silverstone. But, with renewed confidence from Ferrari for 2023 and 2024, Carlos Sainz was never discouraged. We didn’t know he was particularly agile on a wet track until his second place on the grid two weeks ago in Montreal. Confirmed by his first career pole position on the circuit-cradle of Formula 1. What he did not experience as a release but a surprise, because his first words on the radio were those of astonishment.

“Obviously it’s an emotional pole position. It always is, right?he exclaimed when he got out of the car. Doing it at Silverstone, above all, is a very good feeling.” And to explain how he had come to stay on his wheels, and to do better than Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and his teammate from the Principality, authors one 360° each at one end of Q3. “Towards the end, I decided to push for two laps. I did a lap that didn’t look amazing but turned out to be good for pole position. So, well… Pole position came a bit of a surprise.”

“Everyone is happy for Sainz”

“I didn’t know what lap time I had to do to achieve pole position.he detailed. I was convinced that this would not be enough. It was finally enough and I was rather happy to hear that. I struggled with the puddles on the “intermediate” tyres: there were a lot of them on the line and it was easy to swerve and lose the lap.

Carlos Sainz can savor his exploit, because in the neighboring garage, Charles Leclerc, author of six pole positions this season, returned upset. “I spun off on the last lap and I knew that was the lap that I had to do everything right and I didn’t.cursed the world No. 3. I didn’t deserve pole position but P3 is still a good position to start the race.”

“Everyone is happy for SainzFerrari team principal Mattia Binotto told Sky Sports. He deserves it. He’s been working on this for a long time and he’s been hoping for it for a while. He has more and more confidence in the car. He was able to stay calm and that calm allowed him to be on top when needed.”

Finally on the top step of the podium?

“I believe I can winassured Carlos Sainz, the first Spaniard in pole position since Fernando Alonso, at the 2012 German Grand Prix. The speed has been there all weekend. Given my pace in free practice 2, we should be able to hang on. Of course, Max and Charles will put pressure on me, but I’m ready to take my chance.”

On Sunday, the Madrid player intends to break his other glass ceiling. Five times second in the race, he saw victory close in Italy in 2020, behind Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), and just two weeks ago, in the exhaust of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in Canada. Perhaps the only shadow hanging over his ambition is Charles Leclerc’s unofficial leader status at Ferrari. But we cannot imagine the Reds sacrificing their race for the benefit of the native of Monte-Carlo. Anyway, it’s up to him to avoid the most frustrating of scenarios by taking off.

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