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Start Abu Dhabi GP
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Formula 1

Hamilton beats Verstappen in Brazilian GP qualifying

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton will start the Sprint Qualifying race at Interlagos from top spot, after going quickest in qualifying.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Friday qualifying at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, with the Mercedes driver untouchable throughout the entire hour of action.

Against pre-event expectations, Hamilton was peerless at the head of the field through Q1 and Q2, before setting a 1:07.934 on the Soft compound tyre in Q3 to finish as the quickest man. This time was set on his second run, with his opener yielding a 1:08.1, which would also have been enough to finish in first.

It gives Hamilton the advantage of track position for the start of Saturday's Sprint Qualifying race, with his engine grid penalty of five places only coming into effect for Sunday's Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen finished in second place, having endured a scruffy second flying lap that saw him fail to improve upon the 1:08.372 he initially set.

Just like the previous Sprint Qualifying races, it will be a Hamilton/Verstappen front row when the lights go out at 16:30 local time (19:30 for UK viewers) on Saturday.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas finished in third, just under a tenth slower than Verstappen, with Sergio Perez fourth in the other Red Bull.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly took fifth and, like in last weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix, headed up the Ferrari duo as Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc claimed sixth and seventh respectively.

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished eighth and ninth in the two McLarens, with Fernando Alonso rounding out the top 10 for Alpine.

Qualification - Brazilian

Pos. Driver Team Time
Results are being loaded...

Q2

Hamilton set the pace in the second part of qualifying, putting in a 1:08.068 on the Soft compound tyres. He had his first run in Q2 deleted for exceeding the newly introduced track limits at Turn 4, resulting in him having to deliver a second flying lap on the same set of tyres.

Hamilton went on to clock a 1:08.3 and pip Verstappen at the top, going a tenth clear as he made amends for his first-lap error.

Right at the end of Q2, Hamilton used a fresh set of Softs to post a 1:08.068, while Bottas also improved to slot into second and 0.358s down on his teammate, with Verstappen resigned to third and almost half a second away from Hamilton.

Alpine's Esteban Ocon was eliminated in 11th place, with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel in 12th.

AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda was knocked out in 13th, having looked impressively fast in the first part of qualifying. Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were 14th and 15th, with Raikkonen seven-tenths clear of his teammate.

Q1

Hamilton also led the way in Q1, setting two flying laps that were quick enough to keep him at the head of the field, ultimately getting down to a 1:08.733 and finishing three-tenths ahead of Bottas.

Sainz was third, followed by Leclerc, Perez and Verstappen, as they all got their eye in on the Soft compound tyre right from the start of qualifying.

Leclerc had a somewhat tense ending to Q1, as his first flying lap was deleted for exceeding the track limits at Turn 4.

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll was eliminated in 16th, with Williams' Nicholas Latifi out-qualifying George Russell for the first time - the duo finishing in 17th and 18th.

It was the two Haas drivers at the very back, with Mick Schumacher in front of Nikita Mazepin by three-tenths of a second, after the Russian made a mistake on his final attempt.

Video: The secrets of the Interlagos Circuit

Follow Rudy van Buren as he takes you on a flying lap around the Interlagos Circuit, home of the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Sao Paulo Grand Prix straight from the Interlagos Circuit.

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