Hamilton secures pole position for the sprint race in Brazil, Verstappen P2

12-11-2021 20:00 | Updated: 12-11-2021 20:18
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Hamilton secures pole position for the sprint race in Brazil, Verstappen P2

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position in Saturday's sprint qualifying race. The Brit looks to limit the damage as much as possible in a weekend where he takes his fifth internal combustion engine of the season and, therefore, a five-place grid penalty in Sunday's Sao Paulo Grand Prix. The seven-time World Champion looked supreme in the qualifying session as he continued to raise the bar in each part. 

Hamilton posted a 1:08.107 in the first run of Q3, which was 0.265 seconds faster than Verstappen who reported that his tyres were overheating in the final stages of the lap. Bottas was just behind the Dutchman with Perez in fourth. Hamilton improved to a 1:07.934 in the final run. Perhaps crucially for Red Bull, Bottas failed to get onto the front-row. 

For the third and final time in 2021, the usual qualifying session took place on a Friday. Qualifying forms the grid for a sprint race where points are handed out to the drivers in the top three positions. The grid for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix is formed from the result of the sprint race. 

Hamilton picked up a five-place grid penalty because Mercedes installed his fifth internal combustion engine [ICE] of the season. The penalty only kicks into action for the main race and therefore maintains his position from Friday's qualifying in Istanbul. 

For the first time in a normal qualifying session, George Russell was out-qualified by a Williams teammate.  

Q1

With the threat of light rain in the air, both Ferrari cars left the garage early on used soft tyres to try and get a banker. But it wasn't Ferrari who took the early lead in the timesheets as Pierre Gasly went almost half-a-second quicker. Red Bull and Mercedes emerged from the pits to take control of the leaderboard. Hamilton sat half a second faster than Verstappen. 

Carlos Sainz sat in P2, but his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc sat in the drop zone because his lap time was deleted due to track limits. With five minutes remaining, the man from Monaco was joined by both Haas drivers, George Russell and Antonio Giovianzzi. Nicholas Latifi and Sebastian Vettel sat on the cusp. 

Leclerc escaped without any major worries. Both Williams drivers ended up out of qualifying, but for the first time in his career, Russell was out-qualified by a Williams teammate in normal qualifying. Latifi was joined by his fellow countryman Lance Stroll and the two Haas cars. 

OUT - P20 Mazepin, P19 Schumacher, P18 Russell, P17 Latifi, P16 Stroll 

Q2

Hamilton became the latest victim of track limits with his first run in Q2. Meanwhile, Verstappen cruised the top as Bottas was beaten by Gasly and Leclerc. Hamilton was joined in the drop zone by both Alfa Romeo drivers, Vettel and Tsunoda. Ocon and Norris sat on the cusp as Hamilton went for his second lap on the same set of tyres with five minutes remaining.

Hamilton climbed the leaderboard to P1 and beat his Dutch rival by 0.2 seconds. At the last second, Norris escaped the drop zone that pushed Ocon down. 

OUT - P15 Giovinazzi, P14 Raikkonen, P13 Tsunoda, P12 Vettel, P11 Ocon

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