Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas came in third, ahead of Verstappen’s wingman Sergio Perez and Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly. The sprint starts on Saturday at 8.30 p.m.
“I should use the Senna homage on my helmet more often,” says Hamilton, who also blames the Brazilian colors of Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna for his success. “This is the first Pole I’ve gotten in a long time and it feels like the first.”
The reigning champion will initially benefit from a disadvantage for the GP on Sunday. Because of signs of wear and tear and poor performance, Mercedes had to install a new combustion engine again. With the fifth unit in the rear, the main race is down five places on the grid. However, the fresh 1.6-liter V6 also has a few more horsepower.
Verstappen knows that too: “With a new engine, Lewis has more power. So this is not a shock to me. Sometimes you have to be realistic. “Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff admits:” It’s not just the engine, we were also faster in the corners. We have now seen performance, so anything is possible. “
At least on Saturday in the sprint race. “Hamilton was incredibly strong, Max didn’t have an optimal lap,” analyzes Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. “Usually our racing speed is better than in qualifying. Nothing is lost yet. Should we finish second, we will start from first position on Sunday. We couldn’t expect more. ”
For Sebastian Vettel, the end of the second qualifying section: The Aston Martin star only made it to twelfth place, but at least beats his team-mate. Serious defeat for Lance Stroll: The Canadian is also eliminated in 16th place in Q1.
Vettel: “We were missing too much. I attacked a lot, then lost the rear a bit in the last corner. But that made no difference, the Renaults were too strong and we were too weak, especially in the middle sector. ”His goal for the sprint on Saturday. “Get through the first lap, get through and make up a few places.”
Mick Schumacher lands in 19th place just under 0.25 seconds ahead of his Haas team-mate Nikita Mazepin, who once again wears the red lantern. The future Mercedes driver George Russell does not get past 18th place either.
Schumacher: “It seems that we are lagging behind in terms of general speed. But we can be satisfied, the car felt good. “
Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix
2. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +0.438 sec.
3. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes +0.535
4. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +0.549
5. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri +0.843
6. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +0.892
7. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari +1.026
8. Lando Norris (UK) – McLaren +1.046
9. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +1.105
10. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +1,179
11. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine 1: 09.189
12. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin 1: 09.399
13. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri 1: 09,483
14. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo 1: 09.503
15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo 1: 10.227
16. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin 1: 09.663
17. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams 1: 09.897
18. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams 1: 09,953
19. Mick Schumacher (Gland / Switzerland) – Haas 1: 10.329
20. Nikita Masepin (Russia) – Haas 1: 10,589