Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto hailed Carlos Sainz for his maiden pole position in Formula 1, but admitted that the team have “no idea” about preparing a strategy to race with on Sunday, given the uncertainty surrounding the weather.
Sainz sounded surprised over team radio when he was told of his Sunday grid slot – his first P1 start at his 150th race – and admitted afterwards that his lap was “nothing special”, as he had driven within the capabilities of his car to stay out of trouble.
His team principal at Ferrari was pleased to see him take pole at Silverstone, adding that his grasp on the F1-75 has grown race by race – as exemplified at the last race in Montreal.
“Congrats to him, I think it’s well deserved as he keeps getting more and more confidence with the car,” Binotto told Sky F1 after qualifying.
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“He had a good weekend in Canada but the qualy was not so great in Canada. I think that getting the confidence you stay more calm.
“And I think that the fact that he has been on [pole] today because he stayed calm [in] difficult and tricky conditions where you need to keep the temperature in the tyres, get the right moment, the right condition, etc. And being patient, being there at the right moment, and good luck.”
The wet conditions on Saturday led to a mixed-up grid being formed for the race on Sunday, and the weather forecast for the main event is still uncertain.
Dry running has been limited for the teams after a wet FP1 session, and while Binotto feels Red Bull have the upper hand over Ferrari in outright pace, he added that deciding how to approach the race from the pit wall will be a tough proposition.
“It seems that in the dry this morning, Max [Verstappen] was very fast and very competitive. We are a bit behind, showing that out here,” he said.
“It’s very difficult and tomorrow’s race can be a different picture to the qualy, but still coming here in Silverstone is such a difficult weather condition, difficult track, being P1 and P3 is a great result showing that overall the team, the drivers and the car can be competitive and now stay focused on the race tomorrow.
“Strategy: one, two, three stops, no idea. Which tyres to choose, no idea again. I think there can be different scenarios out there, and tyre management we know here, front left [is] always an issue for the amount of energy.”