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Verstappen snatches pole as STORMS bring total chaos in Brazilian GP Qualifying

Verstappen snatches pole as STORMS bring total chaos in Brazilian GP Qualifying

F1 News

Verstappen snatches pole as STORMS bring total chaos in Brazilian GP Qualifying

Verstappen snatches pole as STORMS bring total chaos in Brazilian GP Qualifying

Max Verstappen took a sensational pole position in a rain interrupted Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying session ahead of Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll.

Aston Martin topped an excellent day with Fernando Alonso joining his team-mate on an all Silverstone second row.

Lance Stroll has shown impressive pace at the Brazilian Grand Prix so far this weekend

Mercedes will lock out the third row as Lewis Hamilton will start ahead of George Russell on Sunday.

Lando Norris was disappointed with himself as McLaren were caught out and denied a chance to fight for pole position, instead finishing seventh and tenth following an Oscar Piastri mistake.

Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez were two more drivers to fall foul of the conditions, and will start eighth and ninth respectively.

Teams close on track

The start of the session was delayed by 15 minutes as marshals cleaned debris up from the track before Qualifying due to incidents in a previous support event.

The small threat of rain forced most of the teams out early on during Q1, with Lando Norris setting the early pace, three tenths ahead of Max Verstappen.

Lando Norris showed early pace during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix

Not long after, Lewis Hamilton joined the party, slotting in two tenths behind Norris, as five different teams sat in the top five after the first runs in Q1.

Eventually, Ferrari turned up as Charles Leclerc jumped to the top of the timings with nine minutes to go in the session as drivers started to panic about the lurking grey clouds.

George Russell was noted by the stewards for an infringement of a new pitlane rule, which angered Alpine's Pierre Gasly.

Rapid track improvement forced teams to send their drivers out on a second set of soft tyres, with the top 15 separated by just over four tenths at the end of Q1.

Sergio Perez was close to a Q1 elimination as track improvement nearly caught some teams out

Sergio Perez found himself 13th and closer to the dropzone than he would have liked, as AlphaTauri suffered a double elimination with Yuki Tsunoda in 16th and Daniel Ricciardo in 17th.

Both Alfa Romeos joined Logan Sargeant in the bottom five as Alex Albon continued his run of outqualifying his team-mate at every grands prix.

READ MORE: Who is Kelly Piquet? Girlfriend of Max Verstappen and F1 royalty

Chaotic start to Q2

Varied strategies made for a strange start to Q2, as McLaren outlined serious pace on used tyres, while Ferrari struggled sitting on the cusp of elimination.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll held an advantage over team-mate Fernando Alonso and sat five tenths ahead of the Spaniard and comfortably inside the top five halfway through the session.

Lance Stroll shows signs of mini-resurgence as he out-qualified team-mate Fernando Alonso

Within a matter of minutes, the Canadian was ninth and on the edge of knockout territory, despite only sitting two tenths behind Max Verstappen atop the times – showing just how tight the field are this weekend.

However, the session sparked no surprises in the end, as both Haas cars, both Alpines and Alex Albon were eliminated at the end of Q2.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Verstappen setup quirk which allows Red Bull to make car even faster

Sensational shootout

Deep grey skies approached the circuit as a threatening band of rain approached at the start of Q3, with the drivers mindful that they may only have one timed lap.

Both McLarens were caught out by the weather, as Lando Norris fell to seventh and Oscar Piastri tenth after a mistake.

Red Bull read the weather perfectly as Max Verstappen clambered to the top of the times, ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Max Verstappen shows no signs of slowing down with just three races to go in the Formula 1 season

Sergio Perez was caught out by Oscar Piastri's mistake and the subsequent yellow flags and will line up ninth on Sunday.

Ultimately, fans were denied an incredible fight for pole and what looked to be a mixed grid after the first two qualifying sessions.

READ MORE: Unstoppable Verstappen is a MAJOR PROBLEM for F1

F1 Qualifying Results: Brazilian Grand Prix 2023

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 1:10.727

2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): +0.294

3. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin): +0.617

4. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin): +0.660

5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): +0.742

6. George Russell (Mercedes): +0.863

7. Lando Norris (McLaren): +1.260

8. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari): +1.262

9. Sergio Perez (Red Bull): +1.594

10. Oscar Piastri (McLaren): No Time Set

Eliminated from Q2

11. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

12. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

13. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

15. Alex Albon (Williams)

Eliminated from Q1

16. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

17. Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri)

18. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

19. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

20. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)

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