Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton led Qualifying this evening to land the fastest lap and will lead tomorrow’s Sprint race.
The British world champion will then take a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race following his engine change.
Max Verstappen will take off tomorrow from second, ahead of Valtteri Bottas in third and Sergio Perez in fourth.
Here’s how it played out this evening at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace:
In the opening minutes, Pierre Gasly proved faster than the two Ferraris on track with his lap in 1:10.062 – four-tenths quicker than Carlos Sainz.
The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez arrived on track with a bang, with Verstappen posting a lap in 1:09.329, followed by his teammate, .2s off the pace split by the McLaren of Lando Norris early on.
However, the Dutchman’s efforts were immediately trumped with the arrival of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on track, who went half a second faster than Verstappen on his first lap, demoting him to second – .5s ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas now in third.
After a particularly solid start from Mercedes and Ferrari, when time ran out this evening Hamilton remained out front ahead of the two Ferrari’s in second and third, with Perez in fourth.
Down in the elimination zone was:
- Lance Stroll
- Nicholas Latifi
- George Russell
- Mick Schumache
- Nikita Mazepin
After three and a half minutes of silence, most of the drivers headed out on track led by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Moments later Lewis Hamilton sailed ahead with a lap in 1:08.107 followed by Verstappen .2s off the pace with Bottas in third and Perez in fourth.
With all to play for in the final moments of Qualifying this evening, Hamilton proved dominant in the Mercedes with Verstappen in second – still ahead of Bottas and Perez for tomorrow’s final season Sprint.