Silverstone circuit is making history in Formula 1 this weekend by hosting the first sprint qualifying race on Saturday. This change in the whole weekend’s schedule is aimed to bring more excitement to fans. Instead of the usual FP1 and FP2 on Friday, we had just one practice session plus a sprint qualifying, which set the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Race.
This qualifying session saw the bulls fight a bit with the car balance but managed to get second and fifth place, with Max Verstappen on the front row alongside Lewis Hamilton and his teammate, Sergio Pérez in the third row.
“Of course I am disappointed because I wanted to start first tomorrow but we have the sprint qualifying race to decide the main grid and then Sunday as well so we will try and get them back,” said the Dutch driver after missing out on P1 due to a balance issue on the RB16B.
“Overall, the car was handling quite well but we just had a lot of understeer and I couldn’t really attack the corners as I was waiting for the front to grip up. It was a bit of a weird feeling to drive and I don’t think it was set-up or front wing related, so maybe front tyres, but we will look at it and it’s nothing dramatic.
"To be this close is still very good for us on a track we expected Mercedes to be very strong and we know we have a good race car so I’m still confident for the rest of the weekend,” declared Verstappen.
While the Mexican had his fastest flying lap deleted for track limits violation at Stowe, he is still starting the Sprint Qualifying from the top 5 spots, joined in the third row by McLaren’s Landowner’s Norris.
“I ran wide into Turn 15 and my best lap time was deleted which is a bit of a shame but those are the rules and luckily I only lost one place. P4 would have been a bit better but we have the sprint race to make it further up the grid for Sunday so still there is plenty to play for," said Pérez after being leapfrogged by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
"We improved the car a lot as the day went on but I found a bit of a difference in the balance at the end of Q3 and couldn’t get the most out of the car. I’m looking forward to tomorrow as it will be interesting to see what happens with the new sprint format and how much progress we are able to make in that race.”