‘A shot of adrenalin for 90 seconds’ – F1 drivers on what it feels like when the visor goes down for qualifying
Race day may be when the points are handed out, but nailing a qualifying lap is arguably the single most high-pressure situation Formula 1 drivers face at every Grand Prix.
The drivers will lay everything on the line, with the margin for error the smallest it will be all weekend. Thousandths of a second could separate a lowly grid slot from a top 10 position. Oh, and if you make a mistake, millions will be watching.
Qualify badly and it can be weekend over. Qualify well, and you could be on the way to a famous result.
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The car will be light on fuel, quick and agile. The tyres will be brand new and need only minimal management. The engine will be turned up to the max. It's all about pure pace and performance. Nailing every apex. But how does a driver switch to that all-or-nothing mindset?
Listen to the current crop of F1 stars, including the all-time record pole position holder Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc – who has the most poles this season – discuss what makes qualifying so special to them in the video above.