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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Verstappen takes grand prix pole as rain curtails Q3

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The Sao Paulo skyline turned more and more heavy as darkish clouds drew over the Interlagos circuit, prompting an early queue for laps as rain seemed to be imminent within the opening section of the session.

When it emerged, the circuit descended into darkness to immediate the throwing of a pink flag, because the rain lastly got here as soon as the opening laps had been concluded.

Verstappen ensured he was on the entrance of the queue, and set the one time in Q3 beneath the 1m11s mark as the general tempo had dissipated.

Excessive winds ensured that observe situations turned tougher, and the drivers needed to shortly conclude their laps – however no one might overturn Verstappen’s greatest effort earlier than the cloud got here – Oscar Piastri seemed to be on track to get shut, however as a substitute went off the highway at Flip 12.

The session was not resumed and Verstappen’s pole was confirmed, as Charles Leclerc collected a front-row begin for Sunday’s race in Brazil.

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Lance Stroll shocked to assert third on Sunday’s grid, as Aston Martin timed its runs properly; Fernando Alonso collected fourth over the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

McLaren left their runs too late and ended up seventh with Q2-topper Lando Norris, as Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, and Piastri accomplished the highest 10.

Stroll’s Tenth-best time in Q2 withstood a late siege from the Haas and Alpine drivers because the Aston Martin driver secured his first Q3 look since July’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Alonso’s vault into the highest 4 from the drop zone put Stroll on the brink, however with two tenths in hand over the drivers occupying the elimination zone.

Having been dumped into the underside 5 when Alonso improved, Esteban Ocon tried to surpass Stroll however was unable to search out sufficient time; as a substitute, he was leapfrogged by Nico Hulkenberg‘s lap because the German moved as much as eleventh.

Ocon’s Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly couldn’t enhance both, however moved as much as thirteenth forward of Kevin Magnussen. Alex Albon misplaced his greatest lap on account of observe limits, though this had no impact on his last putting.

Each Alpines are beneath investigation for impeding on the exit of the pits, having been seen shifting slowly in entrance of the Crimson Bulls and Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri.

A short cleansing of the circuit prompted a 15-minute delay to Q1 proceedings, as Pirelli had reported points with stones and screws on the observe floor throughout FP1.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

The specter of rain arriving in the course of the 18-minute Q1 session prompted a flurry of second runs to cowl it off, though the rain had not emerged at this level. A 3rd section of laps to get into Q2 had been triggered over the ultimate 5 minutes, kickstarted by Alex Albon breaking into the highest 4 after he had moved out of the drop zone.

With the timing board resembling a slot machine within the last minute, Tsunoda sat on the cusp in fifteenth as he tried to enhance and pull himself out of hazard, however he couldn’t greatest his earlier lap.

This gave Ocon a possibility to interrupt out of the underside 5 and relegate Tsunoda, which the French driver duly managed with a time ok for 14th.

Tsunoda was 0.006s away from Daniel Ricciardo because the Australian couldn’t repeat his Mexico qualifying heroics, as Valtteri Bottas additionally missed the mark in Q1.

Logan Sargeant tried to affix Albon in Q2 and briefly moved into fifteenth, however was knocked again into the underside 5 amid a last-gasp whirlwind of lap time enhancements. The American dropped to nineteenth, as Zhou Guanyu certified final – 0.2s down on Sargeant’s greatest lap.

F1 Brazilian GP – Qualifying outcomes


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