Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has praised Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz for his splendid pace in wet conditions during qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
Sainz had already shown a serious glimpse of his wet weather pace in Canada when he out-performed team-mate Charles Leclerc in Q1 before the Monegasque sat out Q2 due to his penalty.
Leclerc span at the end of qualifying, holding up Max Verstappen because of the yellow flags following a spin of his own earlier in Q3 for the Dutchman.
Sainz took full advantage and set a magnificent lap to go fastest and claim his maiden pole position in Formula 1, drawing compliments from Horner, the boss of the team whose junior side Toro Rosso Sainz raced for between 2015 and 2017.
“Charles had what looked a half spin and Max backed out because of the yellow,” the 48-year-old told Sky Sports.
“Congratulations to Carlos, he has always been a demon in the wet, always strong in the wet when he was with us.
“He [Max] had one moment, a , and only lost two seconds across the line. It’s a shame he didn’t get the last lap but to end up on the front row is quite good.”
Horner revealed that the Austrian side ran more downforce than the Scuderia in qualifying, which should ultimately help them in the race, because the ability to run the car low has little to no impact on straight-line speed.
“We tend to run a step down than other cars which is better for us in the race,” he added.
“Both guys did a great job, it was unfortunate with the yellow but will make for an interesting race tomorrow.”
Leclerc will start the race third with Sergio Perez behind in fourth in the other Red Bull, so it should make for an intriguing race battle.
“Everyone had a long run with 4 laps so its an unknown,” explained Horner.
“[It’s] good to have Checo in there as well, if it’s a straight dry race then it will be strategy and tyre deg which will be crucial.”
Verstappen has been receiving boos from the British fans all weekend, but Horner wants his drivers to do their talking on the track.
“Disappointing to hear the boos but hopefully we can take the fight to the Ferrari’s,” stated the Red Bull boss.
Saturday’s qualifying was the seventh time this season that Red Bull and Ferrari have locked out the front two rows.