Norris heads Verstappen in Sprint Shootout

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Following a disappointing Friday's qualifying session, McLaren's Lando Norris snatched pole position for today's F1 Brazil Sprint, narrowly beating the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on the short qualifying session.

Huge collision

With the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sporting the sprint weekend format, drivers had another qualifying to master today with the shorter session determining the starting order for today's 100km dash.

The first segment of the short qualifying that is referred to as SQ1 was nearing its end as former Alpine teammates Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso dramatically came to blows. The incident caused a heavy crash for the Frenchman while the Spaniard limped back to the pits in his heavily damaged Aston Martin.

The incident resulted in a red flag stoppage while barrier repair works were carried out down at Turn 3, which delayed the start of SQ2.
Ocon was the first driver to fail to progress into the next session with Lance Stroll set to line up behind the Alpine racer.

Alfa Romeo lacked outright speed yesterday, and Zhou Guanyu continued to struggle for pace in the sprint shootout. As a result of it, the Chinese driver took a lowly 18th with the Williams duo Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant having brought up the rear of the field.

Haas with improved pace

The second 10-minute session saw drivers continue to drive on Pirelli's yellow-banded medium compound as per the rule for the sprint shootout.

Haas displayed an improved pace yesterday which they managed to repeat today with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg having taken 11th and 12th for the American team.

Alpine's Pierre Gasly only managed P13 as the French outfit continued to struggle for pace on the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.

Valtteri Bottas improved almost half a second compared to his best time in SQ1, but his best effort was only enough for P14, ahead of Alonso, who was forced to sit out the session due to the damage his car sustained during the crash with Ocon.

Ferrari hold back pace

After making an operational mistake yesterday when McLaren sent their cars out on the 4.3km track quite late, Lando Norris made the best out of his car's pace in today's Sprint Shootout. The Briton pipped Max Verstappen by 0.061s, while Sergio Perez took third, just 0.134s off Norris’ benchmark.

Following his disappointing qualifying session when he was handed out a two-place penalty for impeding Pierre Gasly at the end of the pit lane, Mercedes driver George Russell outpaced his teammate Lewis Hamilton to grab a spot on the second row on the grid in fourth. 

Yuki Tsunoda had a disappointing qualifying yesterday, but he was an impressive sixth, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and AlphaTauri teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who took eighth.

Ferrari's Madrid-born driver Carlos Sainz took a lowly P9 with McLaren's Oscar Piastri completing the top ten.

It is worth noting that four drivers completed their hot laps in SQ3 on used soft tyres. Sergio Perez and Oscar Piastri were restricted to used tyres as they had no fresh set of the C4 compound after yesterday. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had a new set of softs, but they elected to save it for either today's sprint race or tomorrow's main race.


14Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:11.8241:11.2211:10.62215
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:11.8881:11.2621:10.68316
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:12.2181:11.2301:10.75616
463George RussellMercedes1:11.9761:11.5161:10.85714
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:11.8701:11.4761:10.94014
622Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:12.3581:11.6761:11.01912
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:12.1071:11.4731:11.07715
83Daniel RicciardoAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:12.1751:11.4231:11.12211
955Carlos SainzFerrari1:11.7961:11.4911:11.12613
1081Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:12.3561:11.6481:11.18914
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:12.0581:11.72710
1227Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:12.1361:11.75210
1310Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:12.2291:11.8228
1477Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:12.3031:11.8728
1514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.2246
1631Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:12.3885
1718Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.4826
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:12.4975
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:12.5255
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:12.6156