Verstappen Pole, Aston strong, Norris frustrated in Brazil qualifying

Jaden Diaz
03/11/2023

On the Interlagos circuit, Max Verstappen took his eleventh pole position of the season, with the rain showing and quite a bit for the last drivers who were concluding their attempt. Rain betrayed Oscar Piastri, who spun at the end of the second sector, causing a yellow flag which forced Sergio Perez to lift his foot slightly and only position himself in ninth position.

Charles Leclerc takes the red one up, placing himself in second position, while Carlos Sainz, also the author of an error, only places eighth.

The second row was occupied by Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, who were the first to get on track, taking advantage of the still completely dry track. Mercedes is “only” fifth and sixth, with Lewis Hamilton just ahead of George Russell. McLaren disappoints, with Lando Norris only appearing in seventh place with an error at turn 12 in his attempt.

The last sprint weekend of the season is taking place in Brazil, with qualifying starting in a very few minutes, around 3 pm local time.

The FIA ​​has communicated a slight delay due to the cleaning of the track. All drivers went to track with only one free practice session under their belt, so it will be essential to have found the right compromise, both in terms of downforce and mechanics, to be able to start off on the right foot from Friday.

Ferrari was the only top team to complete a lap with the softs in the morning. The race direction communicates that the risk of rain for the session was 60%, the asphalt temperature was around 41 degrees, and the wind appears to be low intensity for the moment (11km/h).

Q1

Everyone took to the track with new red tyres, with the exception of Piastri and the two Ferraris who used the red tyre in free practice. The first run saw Lando Norris ahead of everyone, two-tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton and three over Max Verstappen.

It was a great lap by Pierre Gasly, who temporarily positioned himself in fourth position. The two Ferraris were momentarily in 16th and 17th position, but the Maranello team decided to take to the track, after the first attempt, with new tyres.

Leclerc temporarily positions himself in first position, with his teammate Carlos Sainz instead placing himself in fifth position.

Excluded in Q1 were Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Bottas, Sargeant and Zhou.

Q2

Max Verstappen’s engineer, Giampiero Lambiase, tells the Dutchman that there are small drops of rain. But despite this, the reigning world champion takes first place, with Norris and Piastri in second and third place, respectively. The two Ferraris take to the track with used tyres, with both at risk of elimination: Leclerc thirteenth and Sainz fifteenth.

With new tyres, Carlos Sainz placed himself in second place, while his teammate Charles Leclerc was in sixth place, albeit one-tenth away. This is the last attempt which sees Lewis Hamilton position himself in sixth, while the Monegasque ‘only’ in seventh position. Excluded in Q2: Hulkemberg, Ocon, Gasly, Magnussen and Albon.

Q3

After several weekends, in the last phase of qualifying, all the drivers of the best five qualifying teams are present, with the gaps promising to be truly minimal given Q2 and Q1.

Track temperature continues to drop, with the wind increasing compared to the start of the session. All the drivers decide to leave the garage first to avoid the rain that could arrive early, expected for the end of Q3.

It was a great lap by Max Verstappen, who temporarily put himself in first position, with Charles Leclerc in second, three-tenths behind the Dutchman. Great laps were also set by the Aston Martin drivers, with Lance Stroll in third and Fernando Alonso in fourth.

The third row is all Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton still ahead of George Russell. The fourth row is made up of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz , while on the fifth row are Sergio Perez (he had to raise his foot due to the yellow flag caused by Piastri) and Oscar Piastri, without time due to an error at the end.

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