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Latifi surprises but who else impressed in qualifying at Silverstone – Crash

Nicholas Latifi scored the best qualifying result of his F1 career as he progressed into Q3. Who were the best and worst performers from a wet day at Silverstone?
Latifi has endured a torrid 2022 F1 campaign with the Canadian rumoured to be on his way out of Williams at the end of the year in favour of Alpine junior and reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri.
After making respectable progress at the end of last year, Latifi appeared to have taken a step back in terms of performance, up until this weekend’s British GP.
With a series of crashes and underwhelming weekends, juxtaposed to Alexander Albon’s fantastic run of results, Latifi’s future in the sport is inevitably being questioned.
The 27-year-old put in his best performance of the season, making Q3, while at the front Carlos Sainz scored the first pole position of his F1 career.
Sainz made the most of Max Verstappen’s misfortune, who was forced to back off due to yellow flags, to claim top spot on the grid for Sunday’s race.

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Here’s who delivered in Silverstone F1 qualifying…
Latifi was the clear star of qualifying as he qualified inside the top 10 for the first time in his F1 career.
It will equal his join-best grid position after starting 10th at the cut-short 2021 Belgian Grand Prix.

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It was a remarkable performance from Latifi, not only because of his struggles this year, but because he wasn’t running the upgraded Williams package. 

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Williams have introduced their major upgrade package for this weekend but only have one set of parts available.
Due to Albon being ahead in the championship, he got the upgrades while Latifi will get them in France.
Latifi progressed into Q2 at his teammate’s expense before getting into Q3 thanks to a timely rain shower which meant the likes of Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas couldn’t improve. 

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He’s likely to fall back down the order in the race but a day to savour.
It’s been a long wait for Sainz but he’s finally scored the first pole position of his career after 150 grands prix.
After a difficult start to the year, Sainz is growing in confidence after nearly winning in Monaco and Canada.
He’s still yet to stand on the top step of the podium in his career so Sunday could be the day that the Spaniard takes his first victory.

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Norris continues to get the most out of McLaren’s 2022 challenger with yet another top 10 qualifying performance.
Sixth on the grid means he’s the second-highest placed British driver after Lewis Hamilton but ahead of good friend, George Russell.

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There’s no doubt that Norris is capable of challenging for regular wins and pole positions, McLaren have to give him the car to do so. 
Given McLaren’s struggles this year, the main reason that they are ahead of Alpine and Alfa Romeo is Norris’ fine form.

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The Chinese rookie once again impressed in qualifying, out-qualifying more experienced teammate Valtteri Bottas for the third consecutive weekend.
It seems that Zhou thrives in the wet conditions as he progressed into Q3 at the last race in Canada.
While Bottas’ wet qualifying record with Mercedes was lacklustre at best, Zhou deserves credit for his improved form.

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Good news for Alfa Romeo in their battle with McLaren and Alpine for fourth in the standings.
Here’s who had a difficult day in F1 qualifying…
By his own high standards, it was an off day for Leclerc at the British Grand Prix.
With his teammate on pole, Leclerc will surely see it as a missed opportunity. 
He looked like he was going to be Verstappen’s nearest challenger throughout qualifying but a spin onto Chapel ended his chances of a first-ever pole at Silverstone.
His error did cost Verstappen pole though as he was forced to back off due to the resulting yellow flags.

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There was a sense of deja vu down at McLaren with Norris flourishing and Ricciardo floundering.
The Australian narrowly made it out of Q1 and struggled to get a lap together in Q2, 2.5s off his teammate’s pace before the heavy rain shower.
Norris is clearly performing at the peak of his powers but there doesn’t seem to be any signs of recovery.

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Finally, Stroll’s miserable 2022 campaign continued with yet another Q1 exit.
While Aston Martin did see both of their cars eliminated, Stroll was 0.8s off teammate Sebastian Vettel with the sizable gap between the pair a recurring theme in recent rounds. 
Like his fellow Canadian, Stroll has taken a step back this year and surely his father – Lawrence Stroll, who owns Aston Martin – will have to consider his future for next year if things don’t improve.
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