Red Bull’s Max Verstappen looked on course for pole for much of the session, but the Dutchman failed to put his final run together.
Sainz’s teammate Charles Leclerc was another who made an error on his final run with the Monegasque driver having a small spin. He will still lineup up third alongside Sergio Perez.
Behind the top three, it was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who gave the home crowd something to cheer about qualifying fifth.
Williams’ Nicholas Latifi was another driver who had a stellar day, with the Canadian making his first-ever Q3 appearance based on pure pace.
Q3: Sainz claims first-ever pole position
The conditions seemed to have improved slightly for the final part of qualifying with the Ferrari drivers the first to set their lap times. Verstappen however wrangled the neck of his Red Bull around the first part of the circuit before ultimately doing a pirouette on the circuit and ruining his first run.
With the drivers and teams wary of further showers the action was relentless with the drivers all continuously improving.
As the session drew to a close, Leclerc had a small off costing him a chance at pole. Verstappen would make a mistake in the second sector leaving Sainz to claim the first pole of his career.
Q2: Latifi makes the cut
The second session was still damp with the drivers once again opting to run the intermediate tyres. As the drivers put in their early laps it was evident that the conditions had become worse with Perez going two seconds slower than his time from Q1.
Verstappen however has no such issues with the Dutchman topping the time sheets once again. He was followed by Norris, Perez, and Zhou, who was having a stellar session.
As the session reached the midway point, the rain started to get worse, with the drivers all going slower than their personal bests. The one driver to buck this trend was Sainz who managed to leap out of the drop in the nick of time.
The session ended with Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo, and Esteban Ocon exiting the session.
However, the big surprise of the session was Williams’ Latifi who made Q3 for the first time this year in what was a very performance by the Canandia.
Q1: Disaster for Aston Martin
A wet circuit greeted the drivers with all 20 cars opting for the intermediate tyres. Alfa Romeo’s Bottas was the first casualty of the session with the Finn having a little spin.British Grand Prix
As the drivers completed their first runs, Leclerc led the time sheets with Verstappen following suit and Hamilton trailing the championship leaders.
As the rain abated and the drivers cleared the standing water on the circuit, the times kept tumbling with the running order changing with each passing lap.
With just under five minutes to go, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was the next to have a moment with the Australian going off at Turn 3.
The McLaren man was languishing at the back and heading towards another Q3 exit before improving to 13th a position in which he would ultimately finish the session.
In the end, when the dust settled it was Lance Stroll, Mick Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen, and Alex Albon who would drop out of the session in what was a particularly disappointing day for Aston Martin.