It was an exciting qualifying session where the top 3 teams were close once again but it was Max Verstappen who took pole after a storming lap around the Interlagos circuit.
Verstappen took pole by just over a tenth of a second from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Mercedes appeared to slightly lack qualifying pace, but Lewis Hamilton managed to split the Ferraris to line up in third, whilst Charles Leclerc will start in fourteenth after a ten place engine penalty. This promotes Valtteri Bottas to fourth and Alexander Albon to fifth.
Albon qualifies directly in front of the man he replaced at Red Bull, Pierre Gasly, who starts in sixth ahead of Romain Grosjean, who heads a better qualifying session for Haas. Kimi Raikkonen starts in eighth ahead of Kevin Magnussen, with both Haas’s being in Q3 for the first time since Spain. Lando Norris just missed out on Q3 but starts in the top 10 with a free choice of tyres as a result of Leclerc’s penalty.
A yellow flag prevented any improvement, which clearly hurt Renault as they start 11th and 13th despite showing good pace throughout the weekend. Was worse for Racing Point, who lacked qualifying pace despite being regularly good in a straight line, whilst Carlos Sainz starts at the back of the grid due to an engine failure in Q1.
Here is the starting grid for the Brazilian GP…
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1.07.508
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1.07.631
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1.07.699
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1.07.874
- Alexander Albon (Red Bull) 1.07.935
- Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) 1.08.837
- Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1.08.854
- Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) 1.08.984
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 1.09.937
- Lando Norris (McLaren) 1.08.868
- Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 1.08.903
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 1.08.919
- Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) 1.08.921
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1.07.728*
- Sergio Perez (Racing Point) 1.09.035
- Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 1.09.320
- Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 1.09.536
- George Russell (Williams) 1.10.126
- Robert Kubica (Williams) 1.10.614
- Carlos Sainz (McLaren) No Time
KEY: Green = Q3, Orange = Q2, Red = Q1
*= 10 place grid penalty
With a close front of the field, one of the front runners starting in the midfield and a shaken up midfield, there are loads of things to look out for and the Brazilian Grand Prix certainly looks like it could be one to remember.