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    Heading for a very open race

    Qualifying was not for the fainthearted today at Silverstone, where the British Grand Prix will get underway at 15 local (16 CEST) tomorrow.

    Silverstone 08 luglio 2023

    Qualifying was not for the fainthearted today at Silverstone, where the British Grand Prix will get underway at 15 local (16 CEST) tomorrow. The track conditions were constantly changing which meant drivers had to keep lapping almost nonstop. Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest, just 12 thousandths quicker than his team-mate, fifth placed Carlos Sainz.

    From Q1 to Q3. The weather looked threatening at the start of Q1 with damp patches on track from earlier rain. Light rain fell in the first phase, but in the end, everyone was able to run almost always on Soft tyres. Charles and Carlos did a good job of keeping out of trouble to reach Q3 even if, like all the other drivers with the exception of Max Verstappen, they only had one set of new Softs left, which prompted them to go for a first run on a used set. On the only flying lap on fresh tyres, Leclerc stopped the clocks in 1’27”136, fractionally quicker than Sainz. The two therefore line up fourth and fifth on the grid, behind Max Verstappen and the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

    Into the unknown. There are several unknown factors for tomorrow’s race: including the fact that, in preparing for the 52 lap Grand Prix, the team only has long run data from Carlos, given the problem that affected Charles on Friday in the second free practice session. It looks like being a very closely contested fight behind Verstappen with plenty of points up for grabs.


    Charles Leclerc #16

    A pretty good qualifying, considering that I struggled a bit in the last few races in mixed conditions on slick tyres. I felt good today, because it seems that the hard work I’ve put in to improve this has paid off. I didn’t put the perfect lap together in Q3 as I lost grip in turn 15, so a front row position was not possible today.
    It’s nice to see McLaren be so quick and I expect an exciting race tomorrow with all of us so close together. We don’t have any race trim data on my side because I missed out on FP2, but we maximised every session since then and are in a decent starting position, so everything is possible tomorrow.


    Carlos Sainz #55

    It was not a bad Saturday overall after a very challenging Quali. The field was very tight and the conditions were changing all the time, so to produce a solid session like we did was not easy.
    Tomorrow we can expect a nice battle with the cars around us so I expect an intense race. We’ll give absolutely everything to bring home a good result.


    Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal

    All three parts of qualifying were very exciting for the fans and spectators. It was good for Formula 1, good for the show. For our part, it was a bit so-so, even if we are in front of our direct competitors. But there was room to do better as Charles made a slight mistake in turn 15 which affected his lap time.
    What is important is that we are not far off the pace. We are still trying to be more consistent with regard to tyre degradation and we saw at the last two races, at very different tracks, that we have made a good step with this. Silverstone is a more demanding circuit in this regard and on paper, it did not look as though it would suit us, but we have been competitive and we can try and move up the order tomorrow. It’s hard to know what to expect from the weather: it changes every hour and the race lasts two hours! But we are very motivated.