The penultimate Qualifying of the spectacular 2019 season is here. The iconic circuit of Sao Paulo, Brazil is the destination this weekend. A tight battle at the top is expected between the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari who have dominated the practice sessions so far.
Q1 – Red Bull top the first Qualifying segment followed closely by the prancing horse.
The first part of Qualifying produced some high qualify laps from the usual front row runners. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped the session from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by +0.254 of a second.
Lewis Hamilton, 2019’s F1 World Champion hasn’t had a great session, lagging in behind all top dogs in 6th position will be looking for a better Q2 and especially Q3 performance to get back to the top.
An utmost disappointing session for the ‘Best of the Rest’ Carlos Sainz as engine issues prevented him from even putting in a single lap time, whilst his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris occupies P8 in between the HAAS drivers.
Eliminated drivers after Q1 are:
16. Kvyat – +1.078
17. Stroll – +1.294
18. Russell – +1.884
19. Kubica – +2.372
20. Sainz – NO TIME
Q2 – Verstappen continues to fly through the track setting purple after purple.
Max Verstappen improved his lap time from Q1 to once again top the session. Definitely setting the benchmark for the rest of the grid and showing his desire to claim pole in Sao Paulo.
Leclerc in second again too by +0.385, followed by Ferrari teammate Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
The sole remaining Mclaren driven by Norris failed to progress to Q3, finishing in P11. Both HAAS drivers make it through making it a surprise considering their struggles this season, Kimi Raikkonen follows through with his Alfa Romeo aswell.
Drivers Eliminated in Q2 are:
11. Norris – +1.365
12. Ricciardo – +1.400
13. Giovinazzi – +1.416
14. Hulkenberg – +1.418
15. Perez – +1.532
Q3 – Pole for Verstappen, did anyone expect anything different?
Max Verstappen makes it a hat-trick of poles in today’s sessions, claiming P1 in the penultimate Grand Prix of the season. Also claiming his second ever pole position in his career so far, Verstappen has a good chance to end 2019 on a high by getting a possible win in tomorrow’s race if he can keep up this tempo.
Second place goes to Sebastian Vettel, some +0.123 of a second slower. On the second row of the grid are reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc.
Third row is completed by Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Alexander Albon.
Q3’s top 10 line up as follows:
- Verstappen – 1:07.508
- Vettel – +0.123
- Hamilton – +0.191
- Leclerc – +0.220
- Bottas – +0.366
- Albon – +0.427
- Gasly – +1.329
- Grosjean – +1.346
- Raikkonen – +1.476
- Magnussen – +1.529
(Picture taken by Artes Max, under creative commons license).