Starting lineup GP São Paulo: Verstappen seems to have an ideal buffer towards his biggest rivals

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Starting lineup GP São Paulo: Verstappen seems to have an ideal buffer towards his biggest rivals

Max Verstappen will lead the field in the warm-up lap for the São Paulo Grand Prix on Sunday, defending his first position against Charles Leclerc in the first corner a few minutes later. Several possible challengers to Verstappen already know that they have a lot of work to do if they want to challenge the world champion.

In Q1 and Q2 the differences were quite small between the different drivers at Interlagos. However, at the start of Q3, severe weather was approaching, causing strong winds and causing the track conditions to change quickly. Verstappen opted for a quick out lap to get started as quickly as possible. The Dutchman set the first time, and that choice did him no harm. The competition was no longer close, and so Verstappen took his 31st pole position.

Ideal top four for Verstappen

The Red Bull Racing driver is joined on the front rows by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, and Aston Martin drivers Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso. Ferrari often performs better in the qualifying sessions than during the races, and at Aston Martin it is not expected that the gentlemen will be able to fight for the win. There seems to be a good chance that Verstappen will be able to build up a buffer to the other faster drivers in the opening phase of the race.

Grid penalties create a new order

In the race, McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez will be among the fastest. However, Mercedes did not maximize in Q3, and Lewis Hamilton was stuck in P5, ahead of George Russell. The younger of the two Britons received a grid penalty for getting into Pierre Gasly’s way at the exit of the pit lane, and falls to eighth place, behind Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. Norris thought he had a car fast enough for pole position, but took action too late, with conditions already deteriorating.

The young Englishman will hope to work his way to the front from the third row, just like Hamilton. Russell starts in eighth place ahead of Sergio Pérez and Oscar Piastri. The Australian went through the grass in the last corner, forcing Pérez to take off the gas. Both drivers were therefore the bottom in Q3. Outside the top ten, Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly also fell back a row after receiving the same penalty as Russell. Ocon and Gasly therefore fall to P14 and P15.

GP São Paulo starting lineup:

1. Max Verstappen

2. Charles Leclerc

3. Lance Stroll

4. Fernando Alonso

5.Lewis Hamilton

6. Lando Norris

7. Carlos Sainz

8.George Russel

9. Sergio Perez

10. Oscar Piastri

11. Nico Hulkenberg

12. Kevin Magnussen

13. Alexander Albon

14. Esteban Ocon

15. Pierre Gasly

16. Yuki Tsunoda

17.Daniel Ricciardo

18. Valtteri Bottas

19. Logan Sargeant

20.Zhou Guanyu

Verstappen can take his sixteenth win of the season this weekend in Brazil. Also betting on F1? Register now at JACKS and receive 60 euros in free bets! If you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+

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