F1 – BRAZILIAN GP – QUALIFYING
Olá, MiniFans! Interlagos hosts the 20th round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship, the first race after Lewis Hamilton managed to obtain his sixth title. The Autodromo José Carlos Pace takes inspiration from a few tracks and always offers great entertainment for fans all over the world. It also used to be the grand finale to the season but fear not: One more race awaits after Brazil.
The qualifying session started as it always does, with the teams that occupy the back of the grid on a regular basis stepping onto the track on the first part of Q1. Vettel surprised by making an early run, but the rest of the top dogs soon followed. Sainz reported problems with the engine and the team got to work immediately but their efforts were in vain. The drivers who were eliminated in Q1 were Kvyat (P16), Stroll (P17), Russell (P18), Kubica (P19) and Sainz (P20), who couldn’t even get one timed lap in.
During Q2, Leclerc did a first run with medium tyres, due to having a 10-place grid penalty yet still needing to start the race with the tyres used to get into Q3, a strategy that proved itself to be fruitful. Verstappen, who topped the sheets, Albon and Vettel didn’t go for a second run, while Giovinazzi prompted a yellow flag in the second sector, not allowing those behind him to improve their lap times. The drivers who were eliminated in Q2 were Norris (P11), Ricciardo (P12), Giovinazzi (P13), Hulkenberg (P14) and Pérez (P15).
In Q3, Verstappen was the first to lead the pack, in front of both Ferraris and Mercedes, even with a mistake in the lap. He topped the sheets once again in the second run, being one of the few who managed to lower their lap times and snatching his second career pole position. Behind him, Ferrari got the second place thanks to Vettel and Mercedes got third with Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc, who finished fourth, will drop ten places due to a penalty for using more engine parts than allowed in the season. Bottas (P5) and Albon (P6) complete the top 6, followed by a very surprising Gasly (P7), Grosjean (P8), Raikkonen (P9) and Magnussen (P10). Take into account that all these drivers will start one place up because of Leclerc’s penalty.
Even if both the Constructors and Drivers World Championships are already decided, Brazil has always offered great racing for as long as it’s been part of Formula 1. Verstappen is looking for redemption from last year, Leclerc will start from 14th and will try to make it as far up as possible, as will Carlos Sainz from the last place on the grid.