F1 – Brazil GP – Sprint race
Olá, MiniFans! Yesterday, we lived through a historic day in Formula 1, as Magnussen and Haas claimed their first ever pole position in one of those situations only Brazil brings us. In a Friday qualifying filled with the unknown of when the rain would come, they were the smartest of the class which, added to Magnussen’s mistake-free lap and the red flag that came courtesy of Russell, shot them into a first place that they wouldn’t let go.
A very clean start at the front saw Magnussen trying to break away from the group, as Verstappen fought tooth and nail to keep his second place, due to being the only one with mediums among the ones fighting for the win. Once his tyres warmed up and reality caught up to Magnussen, the world champion easily got past and the Danish driver started steadily losing places. Further back, two small collisions between the Alpines had Alonso complaining about his teammate and needing to pit for a new front wing.
Schumacher, not having done as brilliant a qualifying session as his teammate in Haas, had managed to climb up to 14th from 20th, while Magnussen was already down to 6th not even halfway through. The Aston Martins were also gaining places, closely followed by Ricciardo, and were putting their sights on 10th place, occupied by Ocon, but having a few problems between them while trying to be the man in front, just like their French rival team.
Halfway through the race, Russell finally caught up to Verstappen and the fight ensued. Russell tried everything he could think of, but the Red Bull was too wide and covered the overtaking spots for a few laps, not letting the Mercedes even smell the position of privilege. A brief yellow flag caused by Albon abandoning his car in the exit of the first corner, interrupted the battle, but it was soon underway yet again. Russell was closer than ever and, after a couple more tries, he finally managed to use the DRS to his advantage and overtook Verstappen, making it stick.
Verstappen started losing some pace and the small train of Sainz and Hamilton easily caught up, overtaking him in consecutive laps as the Dutch was struggling to keep up. A small contact with Sainz made the Red Bull lose a plate from its front wing, hindering him even further. A penalty for Stroll came through for a dangerous manoeuvre with Vettel, and Alonso managed to get past his teammate while the guys at the front reached the finish line in the same order they had overtaken Verstappen in.
Part of the race went exactly as it was predicted. Magnussen quickly dropped down the order, barely putting up a fight as he knew those weren’t his battles, but unexpectedly held on to his first place for a couple laps. However, the winner wasn’t Verstappen, who didn’t seem to be fully in tune with his Red Bull, even before he lost part of his front wing. Russell won his first race, even if it’s only a sprint, Sainz followed him closely and Hamilton completed the double Mercedes podium, which will translate into a 1-2 for tomorrow, thanks to a 5-place grid penalty to Sainz, and may give the silver arrows their first win of the season.
MiniDrivers – F1
2022 Sao Paulo GP