An action packed qualifying session filled with drama and a variety of rain periods led to an unusual yet remarkable qualifying. Wet weather came for all three sessions, however, Q2 experienced ‘intermittent rain’ meaning dry tyres had a period of use which caused havoc amongst the pack.
After calculating the correct period to go onto slicks, Alex Albon managed to finish P1 in Q2, the first time the Williams finished top in a qualifying session since 2016! Unfortunately it would all go to waste as in Q3 he wasn’t able to set a lap due to the weather, ultimately meaning he would qualify P10.
Williams will be doing a rain dance tonight as their car looks better in the rain rather than the dry. I would also suspect a few other teams to join in the dancing as Williams aren’t the only team who look better in the rain, especially the Haas team.
An exciting race on Sunday is brewing above us, the threat of rain is there and whenever there’s rain anything can happen in Formula 1, hopefully it’s not false hope and we really are in for an exciting race.
Carlos Sainz Spacial AwarenessEmbed from Getty Images
A lot of questions have been raised at Carlos Sainz after his driving in qualifying, within the sessions he was involved in an incident with Gasly who ultimately was knocked out due to being blocked by Sainz in Q1.
Despite Carlos being told by his engineer that a car was coming up to him, he was going unusually slow at the final chicane and didn’t get out of the way of Pierre Gasly who was about to complete his final lap.
Gasly expressed his anger out on the radio saying that Carlos “Should be banned for such a thing! I’m coming at 300(kph)!”
If Gasly were to hit Carlos it would’ve been an awful accident, fortunately he made no contact with him but his lap was ruined which saw him go out in Q1 qualifying P17
An incident similar to this also happened in Practice 3 with Sainz and Albon in the same place, Albon complained on the radio exclaiming how Sainz should get a penalty for impeding, however his accusation was quickly denied after the FIA investigated it before qualifying.
The outcome between Sainz and Gasly is still unknown, stewards have kept an eye on it and said that they will investigate it after qualifying, Sainz was lucky to get away with the first one I wonder if he will get away with it again?
Famous Five FallEmbed from Getty Images
Such a rare sighting was witnessed in Q2 today as all 5 drivers that were knocked out were all previous pole sitters! During the wet weather and the dry periods that were constantly changing throughout Q2 it was a time where the majority of the drivers weren’t on the right tyres at the right time, it’s a shame Jenson Button wasn’t driving, these are condition he mastered in!
But due to the confusion, it meant a lot of drivers that should’ve and often do make it to Q3 didn’t, drivers such as the home hero Lance Stroll, Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, as well as Charles Leclerc.
However rounding out the eliminations in Q2 were Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen who have both claimed pole positions in their F1 career! Ultimately meaning that all drivers eliminated were previous pole sitters, it just goes to show how much the weather can be a leveller to car performance and more often then not at least one of the “better” teams ends up struggling.
Nico Hulkenburg’s Perfectionate TimingEmbed from Getty Images
At the beginning of Q3 it became very apparent that the rain was only going to get heavier so the first laps were crucial and would essentially decide where you start on the grid.
Nico Hulkenburg managed to astonish the fans qualifying P2 alongside Max Verstappen. A superb lap placed him there but fortunately for him, while on his lap Oscar Piastri had spun into the wall which would trigger the red flag.
Hulkenburg would cross the line about a second before the red flag was brought out, meaning his lap counted and secured him P2. If the red flag was brought out slightly earlier it wouldn’t have counted and he would’ve found himself a lot further down on the grid.
Unfortunate for Fernando Alonso who was about to set a new lap which will have been quicker then Hulkenburg’s lap, but as he didn’t cross the line in time it doesn’t count.
Nico being obviously very happy with his result will look to carry his momentum into the race tomorrow as well as hoping for rain, a suspected dry race is to be expected but the threat of rain is very well still there and in Canada when it rains, it rains, which we have seen from many historic races previously in Canada.
I suspect Haas will be thinking how Lando Norris and McLaren felt in Spain, rather then trying to achieve a podium I think they will be overly happy with achieving just points.
Hopefully for Hulkenburg his race goes nothing like how Lando’s went in Spain as his race last time out was a tragedy.