Kevin Magnussen of Haas F1 won the pole position for the Sprint at the FIA So Paulo Grand Prix in 2022, besting Mercedes George Russell and World Champion Max Verstappen. Red flags and rain helped to keep the Danish driver at the top of the scoreboard until the completion of Q3.
Magnussen profited from being the first driver out on the circuit when the top-10 shootout began because it was beginning to rain at the start of Q3. And the session was stopped after Russell, starting his second run after winning P3 with his first, drove off the track in Turn 4. Russell had just taken provisional pole ahead of Verstappen with his first flying lap. Red flags were raised, and the cars slowly made their way back to the pit lane. When it started to rain, there was no chance of things getting better when the session restarted.
Magnussen proudly took the lead for Haas and claimed the pole position
He then said, “I don’t know what to say.” “The team sent me out in the ideal position, I put in a really good lap, and we are on pole!” It’s wonderful; many thanks. Tomorrow is the day of maximum attack, so let’s try something silly.
Prior to the green lights, a line of cars on intermediate tyres gathered at the end of the pit lane. The Interlagos circuit was still wet after rain showers that occurred between Free Practice 1 and the start of Qualifying 1.
Charles Leclerc, a Ferrari driver, set the early pace in the practice with a timing of 1:18.723. Verstappen, however, raced to the top of the standings with his first flying lap, clocking in at 1:18.495.
Pierre Gasly was the first driver to switch to slick soft compound tires with nine minutes left, and the AlphaTauri driver quickly stormed to the top of the scoreboard with a lap of 1:17.626.
His lap spurred a widespread switch to slick tires, and Lando Norris of McLaren won the pole position ahead of Verstappen. But when the times dropped, it became a contest to see who could cross the finish line first before the flag and throw in the winning flyer.
With a lap time of 1:13.106, Norris won the race ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin finished fourth, ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez and teammate Verstappen. Williams Nicholas Latifi, Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo, Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri, and Mick Schumacher of Haas were all in the drop zone and ruled out.
Verstappen started Q2 in first place with a 1:11.670 lap in dry conditions, but Norris beat him by 0.009 seconds. Alonso subsequently moved up to P1, but Verstappen was having yet another strong run, and when he reached the finish line, his lap time of 1:11.318 put him at the top of the standings.
As Verstappen’s final runs got faster and he moved up to first place with his first flyer of 1:10.881, rain started to fall. The gap between the top three drivers, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari, Charles Leclerc, and him, was just seven hundredths of a second. The drivers who were eliminated at the end of the middle section were, however, Alex Albon of Williams in P11, then Gasly, Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren, and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin.
Leclerc was put on intermediate tyres by Ferrari as a risk given that rain was expected for the last section of the race. Magnussen, the first driver to cross the finish line at the start of the session, took the provisional pole position ahead of Max, but by this point Leclerc was clearly having trouble keeping up, and Pérez’s problems took over. The Mexican’s last sector was affected when he passed the slower Leclerc during his flying lap. Leclerc finished in a dismal P10, while Pérez was just slightly faster in P9.
At the conclusion of his subsequent lap, Leclerc made a pit stop, and Pérez tried again. However, Russell’s exit from the track in Turn 4 thwarted their efforts. The red flags were raised as soon as the Mercedes’ driver’s vehicle sank into the gravel. After that, the rain started to fall.
After an eight-minute break, the practice was restarted. However, the weather prevented any improvement, and for the first time in his career, Magnussen took the pole position ahead of Max.
Despite going off the track, Russell passed Norris for third, and Sainz finished fifth. Due to a power unit change, the Ferrari driver will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid. Esteban Ocon of Alpine qualified ahead of teammate Alonso in sixth place, Hamilton in eighth, and Checo ahead of Leclerc in ninth place for the Sprint.
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