Dutchman Max Verstappen was sovereign, led the three qualifying sessions on Saturday and will start from pole position at the Formula 1 Brazilian GP, which will be held on Sunday at Interlagos racetrack in the south of São Paulo. For his achievement, he received a trophy from Rubens Barrichello.
The RBR rider ended a dominance of Mercedes in qualifying practice on the circuit that had lasted since 2014 and spiked the fastest time of the weekend in Q3 (1:07:508). Verstappen left second-hand Sebastian Vettel (1min07s631 in Q3) and six-time champion Lewis Hamilton (1min07s699).
Charles Leclerc, fourth placed in the standings, will leave in 14th position because of a punishment for making changes to the engine for the Brazilian stage.
TV Globo broadcasts the Formula 1 Brazilian GP starting at 2 pm (Brasilia) this Sunday, with narration by Galvão Bueno and comments by Luciano Burti and Reginaldo Leme.
Who wins the Brazilian GP?
Classification training result *
Classification training result at Brazilian GP in Interlagos – Photo: Reproduction
* Monegasque Charles Leclerc was punished for losing ten positions on the starting grid for using an altered engine at the Formula 1 Brazilian GP.
Max Verstappen: "Since Q1 the car was flying, it was nice to drive. We are very happy with that, I will try to conclude this [amanhã] now".
Sebastian Vettel: "I had a little swing in the final corner, and Max has improved his time, it's his pole position, so fair play. I'm happy with a front row seat, so let's see tomorrow."
Hamilton: "We were less powerful than the others, that's when we wasted our time. But I gave absolutely all of myself, the layout is very challenging."
Q1 – Verstappen in front and five out
As was the case in the morning, the first to hit the track was Williams' Polish Robert Kubica, already aware that he would not move to Q2. He did not even complete the lap, however, and returned to the pits to make car hits. The first to fire a quick lap was the other Williams driver, the Englishman George Russell, who completed it in 1min10s688.
Max Verstappen at Interlagos classification training – Photo: Charles Coates / Getty Images
When the favorites came out of the pits, Sebastian Vettel was the first to lead (1min08.555), closely followed by Charles Leclerc (1min08.5592). Then Alexander Albon's RBR, who had done well in Friday morning's free practice, recorded the fastest time (1:0808.50). Minutes later, Max Verstappen knocked out his team mate (1min08s242) and stayed on top.
At the other end of the race, in the back of qualifying, Carlos Sainz didn't register time due to problems with his car.
16th) DANIIL KVYAT (TORO ROSSO)
17th) LANCE STROLL (RACING POINT)
18th) GEORGE RUSSELL (WILLIAMS)
19th) ROBERT KUBICA (WILLIAMS)
20th) CARLOS SAINZ (MCLAREN)
Q1 result at Interlagos – Photo: Reproduction
The two Mercedes began the second round of qualifying with everything: Lewis Hamilton drew 1min08s088, the best time of the weekend so far. Then Valtteri Bottas fired 1min08s232.
The excitement of the German team did not last. Leclerc (1min07s888) and Verstappen (1min07s503) broke the 1min08s home and proved that they were going to star in the pole position fight.
Far from the race for the tip, Kimi Raikkonen and Lando Norris were surprised at the exit of the pits and the English squeaked:
– Kimi just left and almost got in my side! said Norris on the radio.
With Verstappen and Leclerc in front, and Vettel in third, Mercedes – Hamilton in fourth, Bottas in six – did not take their cars out of the pits until the end of the round.
11º) LANDO NORRIS (MCLAREN)
12th) DANIEL RICCIARDO (RENAULT)
13th) ANTONIO GIOVINAZZI (ALFA ROMEO)
14th) NICO HULKENBERG (RENAULT)
15º) SERGIO PEREZ (RACING POINT)
Q2 Result at Interlagos – Photo: Reproduction
Q3 – Untouchable Dutch
The third round was a lap festival at 1:07. Verstappen (1min07s623), Vettel (1min07s631), Leclerc (1min07s728), Hamilton (1min07s861), Bottas (1min07s874) and Alexander Albon (1min07s935) ranked well. But the Dutchman and the two blacksmiths seemed more consistent.
As the lights went out, Verstappen further improved his time to 1min07s508 and secured pole position. Second will drop Sebastian Vettel and third will Hamilton. Leclerc was fourth, but for having a penalty for engine changes will come out in 14th.
ARTE GP DO BRASIL V2 – Photo: Infoesporte