Not even a storm can stop Max Verstappen in Brazil.
The wind was already blowing hard in São Paulo, but from time to time the sky turned black over the São Paulo circuit, causing qualifying to be stopped early.
But before the red flag was raised, the Dutch world champion recorded the winning time of 1:10 minutes and 727 seconds, while Monaco’s Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) achieved a time of 0 minutes and 294 minutes, and Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) achieved a time of 0 minutes and 617 seconds. They were his closest attackers.
“I have never experienced this in my career,” Leclerc testified afterward. “There was no track control at all. It wasn’t raining, but that’s what it felt like. I almost ran in because I thought something was wrong.”
For Verstappen, this is his 11th position of the season. The Dutchman secured his third consecutive world title in Formula 1 last month in Qatar, while his colleague and closest pursuer in the World Cup standings, Mexican Sergio Perez, starts in only ninth place.
This comes behind Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), who was the best in the only practice session at Interlagos earlier on Friday. Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell start in fifth and sixth places. Saturday there Shoot (3 p.m.) and Sprint (7:30 p.m.).
The Sao Paulo Grand Prix starts on Sunday at 6pm. Verstappen won in Brazil in 2019, and Russell was the best last year.
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