Brazilian GP: Hamilton tops Friday qualifying by 0.4s from Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton topped Friday qualifying for Formula 1's 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix, ahead of title rival Max Verstappen.

Listen to this article

The two championship contenders will start F1's third sprint race from the front row of the grid, with Hamilton set to drop five places on the grid for Sunday's grand prix from wherever he finishes in the first race.

Hamilton, who led FP1, dominated throughout qualifying, leading in Q1 and Q2 before heading the pack with a 1m08.107s after the first runs in Q3.

As is required for the sprint race arrangement, the drivers used the soft tyres throughout qualifying, with Verstappen noting he was struggling with overheating on the red-walled rubber mid-way through his first run in the final segment.

But the Dutchman could not improve on the second goes, clunking the Turn 2 kerb in the middle of the Senna Esses and then losing more time with a slide out of Turn 12 – the last real corner in the final sector.

That meant he did not set a personal best on his final run, where Hamilton went quicker still – ending up with a 1m07.934s, 0.438s in front of Verstappen.

Valtteri Bottas qualified third ahead of Sergio Perez, with Pierre Gasly finishing Q3 in the third place and ahead of both Ferrari drivers for the second weekend in a row, as Carlos Sainz led Charles Leclerc in sixth and seventh.

Lando Norris beat Daniel Ricciardo to ninth, while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 for Alpine.

In Q2, Norris's last-lap jump knocked out Esteban Ocon, who ended up 12th ahead of Sebastian Vettel – one of three drivers, including Ocon, to set their fastest times in the middle segment before being knocked out.

The other was Kimi Raikkonen, who ended up 14th behind Yuki Tsunoda, with Antonio Giovinazzi taking 15th in the second Alfa Romeo.

In Q1, late improvements for Alfa duo and Ocon shuffled Lance Stroll down to 16th and out at the end of the opening segment, where Nicholas Latifi outqualified George Russell for the first time in the two seasons as Williams teammates.

Latifi's final Q1 edged him ahead of Russell for what would become 17th place once the Alfas jumped ahead of the Williams duo – with Latifi, who did technically qualify ahead of Russell at Monza by finishing ahead in the sprint race, inflicting a first Q1-Q2-Q3 defeat from a Williams teammate on Russell since the Briton joined the team alongside Robert Kubica in 2019.

At the back, Mick Schumacher outqualified Nikita Mazepin to take 19th as the lead Haas.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'07.934  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'08.372 0.438
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'08.469 0.535
4 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'08.483 0.549
5 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1'08.777 0.843
6 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'08.826 0.892
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'08.960 1.026
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'08.980 1.046
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1'09.039 1.105
10 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 1'09.113 1.179
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'09.189 1.255
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1'09.399 1.465
13 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1'09.483 1.549
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1'09.503 1.569
15 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'10.227 2.293
16 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1'09.663 1.729
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'09.897 1.963
18 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 1'09.953 2.019
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 1'10.329 2.395
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 1'10.589 2.655
 
shares
comments
Honda ‘cannot believe’ streak of Mercedes F1 engine penalties
Previous article

Honda ‘cannot believe’ streak of Mercedes F1 engine penalties

Next article

Verstappen: 'No shock' to trail Hamilton after F1 engine change

Verstappen: 'No shock' to trail Hamilton after F1 engine change
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Prime

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Prime

Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing.

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023