Lando Norris bounced back from a disappointing Friday qualifying, showing that his McLaren team had what it took to challenge for pole position by taking top spot during the sprint shootout at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
SQ1 came to a premature end, after Alpine driver Esteban Ocon crashed into his former team-mate Fernando Alonso, having lost control of his car as he attempted to pass Alonso whilst on a flying lap. The crash ended the sprint shootout for both drivers.
It was a hefty shunt for Ocon, who reported that he was ok, but it caused a red flag as marshals cleared away the car and fixed the damaged barriers.
For Norris' team-mate Oscar Piastri, that may have come as some relief. The young Australian had just put in a lap only fast enough for 14th with two minutes left in the session, and could have been at risk of elimination from the shootout, but scraped through to SQ2. He qualified in 10th in the end.
However, both McLaren and Mercedes had the upper hand on the Maranello-based team, and Leclerc will start the sprint race in seventh, with Carlos Sainz down in ninth.
Drivers under investigation
As well as Ocon and Alonso heading to the stewards room after their collision, Piastri, Norris, Ocon and Russell (who has already been served with a two-place grid penalty for Sunday's race) are all under investigation having failed to meet the minimum lap time set by race directors during SQ1.
The rule attempts to stop drivers from taking too long on their out-lap, dawdling in order to try and gain some space to the car in front.
F1 Sprint Shootout Results: Brazilian Grand Prix 2023
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.