Max Verstappen showed Red Bull’s strong practice pace by putting his RB15 on pole in Interlagos!
The Dutchman was fastest in Q1, Q2 and Q3 with Ferrari and Mercedes narrowly missing out on pole. His first lap in Q3 was scrappy but still managed provisional pole. He then went and improved by over a tenth to take his second (third if you include Mexico) pole position in Formula One.
Once again, Ferrari showed great qualifying pace and great speed along the straights to edge out both Mercedes cars in qualifying. However, Charles Leclerc will start the Brazilian Grand Prix down in 14th due to a 10-place grid penalty for taking a new engine. The front two rows are Verstappen ahead of Vettel, Hamilton and Bottas.
Mercedes just didn’t look like taking pole position at any point in the session with Lewis Hamilton criticising the lack of power his Mercedes has compared to the Red Bull and in particular the Ferrari. Nevertheless, Mercedes have proved so many times this year that their race pace is stronger compared to Red Bull and Ferrari and will certainly still have their eyes on taking another 1-2.
The biggest surprise of qualifying was the resurgence of Haas. For the first time since the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, Haas managed to get both cars into the Q3 with Romain Grosjean qualifying 8th with teammate Kevin Magnussen down in 10th. Haas will be hoping for a good haul of points to show for their great qualifying session.
One team that struggled a lot today was McLaren with Carlos Sainz starting the Brazilian Grand Prix dead last, after power related issues early on in Q1. Lando Norris was unlucky to miss out on the top 10 with 0.010 separating him and Q3 but the Brit will start in P10 thanks to Leclerc’s penalty as well as a free set of tyre choice.
Elsewhere, Pierre Gasly was best of the rest in P7 with Kimi Raikkonen managing to sneak his Alfa Romeo into P9.
Image: Getty Images
Article by Ollie Cassidy