Qualifying for the very first F1 Sprint race resulted in a close battle both at the front between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen and in the rest of the top ten. Charles Leclerc managed to secure P4 after Sergio Perez’s last time was deleted, while Carlos Sainz will be starting 9th between Russell and Vettel.
"A good qualifying for us on the very demanding Silverstone track,” commented Ferrari’s Racing Director, Laurent Mekies.
“In Q3, the smallest of gaps meant the difference between being on the second or fifth rows and our drivers finished at either end of this group of six drivers.”
The focus is now switched to tomorrow’s race, particularly on the search for a good pace.
“We know that here more than ever, race pace is more important than performance over a single lap and that on a track like this, it is the most difficult challenge facing us,” he explained.
“Sprint Qualifying presents new challenges to the teams and drivers. We will have to do a good job and make the most of the second free practice to be as well prepared for this major new element of the weekend, without forgetting that the Grand Prix is on Sunday."
Quite a good Friday for Charles Leclerc, who is "very happy with today’s result. Going into qualifying with so little preparation makes things a bit more tricky, but also exciting.”
“We did a good job in maximizing the potential of our car. Overall, I felt confident, especially in Q1. In Q2, I was not at the level that I wanted to be, but I regained my confidence and pace for the final session, finishing in P4.”
His teammate Carlos Sainz, on the other end, is "not fully satisfied with this quali.”
At the end of the session he explained he felt confident in the SF21 until Q2, “in the very last [Q3] attempt however, I struggled a bit more and a couple of small mistakes here and there meant I couldn’t match that lap from Q2, losing a tenth or so that unfortunately today was very costly, as it was extremely tight.”
A bit of disappointment for Sainz, as “the lap time was there” but he is now looking forward to tomorrow.
“The Sprint Qualifying gives us a good opportunity to push tomorrow, though. Time to focus on that. The weekend is far from over yet and I will give it my all until the end," he concluded.