After the end of qualifying at the Silverstone Circuit on Saturday, Carlos Sainz expressed his surprise over the team radio that he had secured pole position.
For the first time in his Formula 1 career, which began in 2015, the Spaniard finished qualifying as the fastest driver.
The 27-year-old says a handful of things went wrong during his fastest lap, leading to astonishment as he set the fastest lap of the session.
“I had no idea where I would qualify because the conditions were so changeable that I didn’t even know what lap time I had to beat in Q3,” said Sainz.
“I didn’t know what lap time I had to set on this lap to get on pole. It didn’t feel great because I made a small mistake at Turn 3 that threw me off the track at Turn 4.
“Then I remember riding through the high speed and thinking ‘maybe I should have pushed a little harder’. Then the battery runs in [Turns] 15 and 16 I said ‘I have my lap on the board’.
“It wasn’t bad in the corners but on the last few straights the battery was missing and everything, I was convinced it wasn’t going to be enough.
“But then it was enough and I was very happy about that. That’s what I meant by the lap not being perfect because of those few things.”
Sainz is also awaiting his first Grand Prix win and if he did so on Sunday he would be second behind Sergio Perez on the list of most races before a first win.
Having endured a largely difficult 2022 season so far, Sainz is confident he has the pace to take home his first win.
“I think we’ve been fast in every race this year so there’s no reason to think we shouldn’t be fast enough,” he said.
“It’s true, the Red Bull is always as fast as we are, sometimes faster, sometimes a tenth slower. But in the end, in the races where things get so close, it’s the details that count.
“We have to focus on getting the details right with strategy, tires and management.
“If we get these things right, when we have a track position, we should try to stay up front. I think if we work well together we can beat the two Red Bulls.”