Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen took pole in F1 Brazil GP with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel second and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton third.
The first part of F1 Brazil GP qualifying at Interlagos had Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen heading Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and the other Red Bull of Alexander Albon. Meanwhile, in the bottom, it became one less position to worry about due to an issue for McLaren.
Carlos Sainz reported of an engine trouble and despite efforts from the team, he wasn’t able to make it out on time and with no time set, he ended up 20th and will need the stewards permission to start the Brazil GP on Sunday on the basis of practice time.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat (1m09.320s) was the first to miss out on a Q2 slot in 16th after a troubled run for the Russian. He had Racing Point’s Lance Stroll (1m09.536s) behind him with Williams’ George Russell (1m10.126s) 18th and Robert Kubica (1m10.614s) 19th.
The second part of F1 Brazil GP qualifying had Ferrari’s Leclerc on a different strategy with the 10 place penalty he has as the Monegasque opted to have a go on the medium compound. All of the others chose the usual run on the soft tyre.
Red Bull’s Verstappen led the way again in Q2 with Ferrari’s Leclerc and Vettel in second and third respectively. The change in temperatures, meanwhile, worked in the favour of the drivers inside the Top 10 as no one really improved on their times.
It was only Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg (1m08.921s) with an improvement as the German ended up 14th ahead of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez (1m09.035s). McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m08.868s) led the pack in 11th as he missed out by just 0.010s.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m08.903s) was 12th with Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi (1m08.919s) 13th as the Italian caused a yellow flag moment in the dying moments of the session due to a spin after losing the rear.
The third part of F1 Brazil GP qualifying had Red Bull’s Verstappen on provisional pole with a 1m07.623s as he beat Ferrari’s Vettel by 0.008s margin despite not having the cleanest lap. Leclerc was third after having a slight off himself.
Verstappen improved further with a 1m07.508s to take the top spot in Brazil GP, his only second pole of his F1 career after Hungarian GP. The Dutchman did not start his lap well but was mighty in the middle sector to lead Q1, Q2 and all-important Q3.
Ferrari did not have the pace in the middle sector as Vettel remained second with a 1m07.631s as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (1m07.699s) managed to get himself in the fight in third after pushing Ferrari’s Leclerc (1m07.728s) to fourth, who is to start from 14th.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m07.874s) could only manage fifth with Red Bull’s Albon (1m07.935s) just sixth as well. The best of the rest honour went to Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (1m08.837s) as Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen split the two Haas drivers.
It was Romain Grosjean (1m08.854s) in eighth with Raikkonen (1m08.984s) slotting in ninth with Kevin Magnussen (1m09.037s) eventually rounding out the Top 10 for the Brazil GP. All are scheduled to gain one place due to Leclerc’s penalty.