Sao Paulo GP: Lewis Hamilton uncatchable in qualifying to head field for Sprint from Max Verstappen

The Sao Paulo weekend continues on Saturday on Sky Sports F1, with Practice Two at 3pm followed by the third and final Sprint of the season at 7.30pm

Last Updated: 12/11/21 8:08pm

Lewis Hamilton delivered a scintillating and dominant performance in Sao Paulo GP qualifying to ensure he will start one place ahead of title rival Max Verstappen on the grid for Saturday’s sprint race in Brazil.

Although Hamilton will take a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Grand Prix owing to the use of another fresh Mercedes engine, his starting place for Saturday’s event – the 24-lap sprint race where a maximum of three points are on offer for the winner – is unaffected.

Hamilton comfortably topped all three qualifying sessions on Friday evening with his Mercedes W12 in the groove around the undulating Interlagos circuit after just one session of practice.

Hamilton’s speed also bodes well for Sunday’s race, where he will start no higher than sixth.

“Let’s go!” shouted Hamilton after being told of the qualifying result over Mercedes radio.

Red Bull had no answer to that speed, four tenths of a second behind, but Verstappen was able to at least split Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas with second place to secure yet another front-row starting position this season alongside his great rival.

Verstappen leads the championship by 19 points from Hamilton.

Sergio Perez was fourth for Red Bull ahead of Pierre Gasly, who yet again delivered a top-five for AlphaTauri, and the two Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

Saturday’s 24-lap sprint race is at 7.30pm on Saturday, live on Sky Sports F1.

More to follow…

Sao Paulo GP qualifying result
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
3) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
7) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
8) Lando Norris, McLaren
9) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
10) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
Knocked out in Q2
11) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
12) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
13) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
14) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
15) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
Knocked out in Q1
16) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
17) Nicholas Latifi, Williams
18) George Russell, Williams
19) Mick Schumacher, Haas
20) Nikita Mazepin, Haas

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