Two weeks and a race after achieving a historic double at Monza, McLaren extended its celebration in Russia, where it took a slice of a dangerous timed, in extremely delicate conditions, with the asphalt half wet and a thousand hellish cold (around 13ºC in the environment), the worst circumstances for the tires to enter their optimal working window.
The rain gave a respite to the Formula 1 World Cup caravan a few minutes before qualifying, even though the first two screens (Q1 and Q2) were played with the wet track and all the cars wearing water rubber. It was at the end of the third (Q3) and with Max Verstappen already eliminated – the Dutchman changed the engine of his Red Bull and will start last (2:00 p.m., Movistar Formula 1 and Dazn) -, that the bravest and the least they had to lose they played it with the smooth compounds. Of all of them, the most intrepid were Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, who managed to dominate the jolts that their cars released and that will form in the front row when the traffic lights go out.
It is the first pole for the British and the first for McLaren since Lewis Hamilton won the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. his best position in the World Cup. George Russell again justified Mercedes’ decision to promote him next year, placing his Williams third, just ahead of Hamilton. Fernando Alonso, in turn, will start sixth.
“It was a frantic session,” said Norris, who waited at the last moment to launch his final attack, a circumstance that allowed him to benefit from the better grip on the track, which evolved from one tenth to another with each turn with the rolling of the cars. “It was very difficult from the beginning. And even though I was one of the first to cross the finish line – on his last fast lap – I’m happy despite it, ”agreed Sainz.