Max Verstappen takes pole at Interlagos: 'Car was really good'

Published on 16 November 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen took the pole home after qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Dutchman was the quickest in every session in São Paulo and never relinquished the lead, not even in the third and final part of qualifying. With a 1:07.508 he managed to stay ahead of Sebastian Vettel (+0.123) and Lewis Hamilton (+0.191), who together formed the top three with him. This is Verstappen’s second career pole in Formula 1.

“The car was really good”, says a happy Verstappen after qualifying. “During qualifying the track temperature was changing a bit, so we had to adjust for that, but straight away from Q1 the car was flying. It was really enjoyable to drive so I am very happy with this pole position.”

Max explains his first run in Q3 which was not completely flawless: “I tried a different line, because the track was a bit warmer it gave me a bit more oversteer. I went a bit wide because of that. Luckily the second lap was a bit better. Then I saw that we were first and I knew all is good.” The youngster is very happy with his RB15: “Today we took a good step regarding the balance of the car. That was pretty reasonable in the third free practice but there were a couple of things we needed to work on. Qualifying on the other hand was pretty solid.”

What about the long runs, looking at tomorrow’s race? “Given our pace now, that shouldn’t be any problem. We just need to make sure that the tyres stay in one piece”, Verstappen concludes.

With quite some overcast the eighteen-minute lasting first part of qualifying gets underway. Max sets a 1:08.242 in his first and only timed lap which also earns him the lead. The time he set is not bettered during the rest of Q1 and the Dutchman finishes this session on top. Behind of him, Charles Leclerc (+0.254) and Alexander Albon (+0.261) round up the top three.          

Daniil Kvyat, Lance Stroll, George Russell, Robert Kubica and Carlos Sainz fail to make the cut and are the first drop outs. For the latter, a technical issue put a spoke in his wheel which caused the McLaren-driver to not being able to set a proper lap time.

In Q2 Verstappen opens with a 1:07.503, putting him at the top of the timesheet once again. Charles Leclerc (+0.385), Sebastian Vettel (+0.547), Lewis Hamilton (+0.585), Alexander Albon (+0.614) and Valtteri Bottas (+0.729) round up the top six after the first run. Leclerc has set his time, as oppose to the rest of the field, on the yellow mediums.

Just like the previous session, Max sticks with just one run, just like Vettel and Albon. Although the others still venture out, within the top-ten there is no change in positions. Verstappen tops the board again in this session. Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Antonio Giovinazzi, Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez form the second group of drop outs, they can go hit the showers.

After the first time laps in Q3, the top-six is formed by Verstappen (1:07.623), Vettel (+0.008), Leclerc (+0.105), Hamilton (+0.238), Bottas (+0.251) and Albon (+0.312). Max’ lap was not completely flawless but still good enough for pole position.

A short pause follows, after which the drivers head out for a second and final time. Max manages to better his time by well over a tenth to a 1:07.508, but the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver is one of the firsts to cross the line. His time is not improved by anyone and the youngster can rest assure that pole position is his. Sebastian Vettel (+0.220) and Lewis Hamilton (+0.366) form the top-three together with Max. Team mate Alexander Albon finishes qualifying sixth fastest in Brazil.

Brazil GP contest: Win a 1:43 scale model of Max Verstappen's RB12 Brazil GP!

Results qualifying Brazil:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:08.2421:07.5031:07.508
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:08.5561:08.0501:07.631
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:08.6141:08.0881:07.699
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:08.4961:07.8881:07.728
5Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:08.5451:08.2321:07.874
6Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:08.5031:08.1171:07.935
7Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:08.9091:08.7701:08.837
8Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:09.1971:08.7051:08.854
9Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:09.2761:08.8581:08.984
10Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:08.8751:08.8031:09.037
11Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:08.8911:08.868
12Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:09.0861:08.903
13Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:09.1751:08.919
14Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:09.0501:08.921
15Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:09.2881:09.035
16Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:09.320
17Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:09.536
18George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:10.126
19Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:10.614
0Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren RenaultDNF