F1 – Brazilian GP – Qualifying
Hello MiniFans! Welcome back to the wonderful circuit of Interlagos! It will be the second last qualifying session of the season and the first one in which we know the F1 champion of 2018 and that is Lewis Hamilton of course! Who do you think got the pole position? You will read it here!
The drivers started the first session of qualifying with grey clouds above their heads. The chances on rain were very high. That’s why everyone got out of the pits as quickly as possible to set laptime before the angels would drop their buckets of water. Leclerc didn’t have the best day on Saturday. He had a heavy lock up in the last practice session and he spun during Q1, while Verstappen’s first qualy lap was the fastest lap of the session. Magnussen let us know over the radio that he noticed a few raindrops and we could also see them on the camera of the helicopter above the circuit.
Hartley gave everything in his last lap to get out of the elimination zone and succeeded at first, but his teammate Gasly was 0.234 seconds quicker and moved up four places with that lap, while he pushed the Kiwi down to the elimination zone. We had to leave Sainz, Hartley, Alonso, Stroll and Vandoorne behind, while we moved on to session two.
It stopped raining between Q1 and Q2, that’s why we got the same reaction of the teams again; getting out as quickly as possible to set a laptime before it started raining again. Ericsson did a superb job. With only seven minutes left, we had Ericsson on P8, while his teammate Leclerc was down in P11. He even seemed to have outqualified Leclerc after seven races again until the very last moment. Hamilton was a bit confused during Q2. At first, he didn’t move for Raikkonen and had a hot moment with Stroll by turning into the Canadian and almost colliding with him. Stroll luckily turned away from him and avoided contact. Sector one seemed very slippery at the end of the second session. Leclerc got off the track on his flying lap and also Hamilton had some problems with aquaplaning. In the end, Magnussen, Perez, Ocon, Hulkenberg and Sirotkin ended up in the elimination zone.
There was some drama with Vettel when he had to weight his car after Q2. It didn’t went quick enough for him and that is why he didn’t turn off his engine. He even drove onto and from the scale, instead of being pushed. He broke the scales by doing that. The German was furious! With five minutes to go, it seemed that Hamilton was the one who will start from pole tomorrow, While the Sauber drivers claimed the fourth row. The teams got out of the pit lane for their very last qualy lap at Interlagos with only two minutes to go.
Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position, with a track record of 1:07.281. Sebastian Vettel completed the first row, followed by Valtteri Bottas. The top ten was completed by Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Ericsson, Leclerc, Grosjean and Gasly.
Update: Vettel got a reprimand and a €25 000 fine for the incident, but no disqualification, while Ricciardo will start from P11 because of his new turbocharger. Also Ocon got a five place penalty. He got one for changing his gearbox.
We will see you back tomorrow for the race recap!