Haas’ Kevin Magnussen claimed a shock pole position for 2022 Sao Paulo Sprint Race, following a dramatic Qualifying session.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez topped a dry FP1 session but rainfall impacted Qualifying with Magnussen timing his Q3 lap to perfection, which saw him snatch a shock maiden pole position albeit for the Sprint Race rather than main race.
Max Verstappen and George Russell rounded out the top three in Qualifying for the Sprint Race as the rain played a crucial role in proceedings.
Now, here is a full roundup of FP1 and Qualifying at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Brazil.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was first out on track in overcast conditions but it was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who set the initial pace in the opening four minutes, as the Brit posted 1m 15.018 on medium tyres.
Red Bull soon swiftly began to dominate as Sergio Perez soon took over at the top of the timesheets, only for Max Verstappen to produce 1m 14.104 on his second flier on hard tyres to go top, having ran wide at Turn 4 on his first flying lap.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas then posted 1m 13.807 to go fastest in the 10th minute which prompted Verstappen to respond five minutes later with 1m 13.575 to go top.
Perez though ensured that he led at the halfway mark with a surprisingly early soft-tyre Qualifying simulation, as he posted 1m 11.853 in the 27th minute to go fastest and ultimately topped the session.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc meanwhile had a quiet session until the end when he popped on the soft tyre to go 0.004 seconds slower in second, ahead of Verstappen who was third quickest and 0.008s off Perez.
Carlos Sainz, Hamilton, George Russell, Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher, Bottas and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top ten on soft tyres, as both Alpine drivers set their quickest lap times on medium tyres in 11th and 13th position as the top 14 drivers were split by 0.901s.
|1||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||1m 11.853|
|2||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.004|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0. 008|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.186|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.187|
|6||George Russell||Mercedes||+ 0.202|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 0.304|
|8||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 0.461|
|9||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.613|
|10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.614|
|11||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 0.701|
|12||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 0.780|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 0.852|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.901|
|15||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 1.102|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 1,144|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 1.166|
|18||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.262|
|19||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.494|
|20||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 1.506|
A rain shower shortly before Qualifying left a damp track for the start of Q1 as Magnussen again led the field out on track, albeit this time on intermediate tyres with DRS disabled for safety reasons.
Leclerc proceeded to set the initial pace but it was Fernando Alonso who led at the halfway mark, as the elimination zone compromised of; Yuki Tsunoda, Magnussen, Mick Schumacher, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi.
Pierre Gasly however was the first driver to gamble on soft slick tyres in the ninth minute which paid off as he quickly began to lower the benchmark, once his tyres were up to temperatures which led to a frantic pit dash for the rest of the field for soft tyres.
As the checkered flag fell, Magnussen and Albon both survived as Latifi was knocked out in 16th position ahead of Alfa Romeo’s duo – Guanyu Zhou and Bottas as Tsunoda and Schumacher qualified on the back row after finishing as the slowest pair in Q1.
McLaren’s Lando Norris meanwhile topped Q1 with 1m 13.106 after suffering from food poisioning yesterday.
Vettel was first out on track in Q2 ahead of a queue of cars as DRS was enabled due to drier conditions, but it was Norris who surprisingly found himself on top after the first fliers with 1m 11.571 ahead of Verstappen.
Mercedes meanwhile put Hamilton and Russell on used softs which backfired as Hamilton found himself 15th at halfway mark, behind Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Russell and Stroll.
Rain however returned in the ninth minute as the clouds darkened but Russell now on fresh soft tyres improved to third with 1m 11.475, whilst Hamilton posted 1m 11.539 to go fourth which dropped Ocon and Albon into the bottom five.
At the checkered flag, only Ocon escaped the drop as Albon managed to improve to 11th ahead of Gasly, Vettel, Ricciardo and Stroll who all failed to improved as weather conditions worsened.
Verstappen meanwhile topped Q2 with 1m 10.881 with Sainz just 0.009s slower in second and Leclerc 0.069s behind the two-time champion.
Magnussen led a queue of cars out onto the track in a desperate dash to beat the fear of further “incoming” rainfall amidst darkening clouds, as Leclerc was boldly sent out by Ferrari on intermediate tyres for his opening flier whilst everyone else ventured out on soft tyres.
Magnussen proceeded to set the benchmark lap time of 1m 11.674 ahead of Verstappen and Sainz who couldn’t beat his time as the red flag came out with eight minutes and 10 seconds left after Russell locked up under braking at T4 and beached his car as he spun his car around into right direction.
The session resumed seven minutes later with DRS disabled as a result of the worsening conditions as rainfall returned heavier than at any other point of Qualifying, with Perez, Verstappen and Hamilton opting for intermediates but quickly aborted their outlaps and pit again.
Magnussen consequently clung on as nobody else could improve their times and claimed a shock pole position for the Sprint Race, ahead of Verstappen, Russell, Norris, Sainz, Ocon, Alonso, Hamilton, Perez, and Leclerc.
|1||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||1m 11.674|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.203|
|3||George Russell||Mercedes||+ 0.385|
|4||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.589|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.683|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 0.751|
|7||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 0.830|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.937|
|9||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 3.927|
|10||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||No Time|
|11||Alex Albon||Williams||1m 11.631|
|12||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.044|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 0.047|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 0.509|
|15||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.579|
|16||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||1m 15.095|
|17||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.102|
|18||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.391|
|19||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.169|
|20||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 1.266|