Now that the starting order for the São Paulo Grand Prix on Sunday has been determined, attention shifts first to the final sprint race on Saturday. This sprint race is first preceded by an extra qualifying session, the Sprint Shootout. In this shortened session the drivers get a new chance to get a good starting spot for the Saturday race. You can read what time the sprint race in Brazil starts on F1Maximaal.
It is time for a sprint race for the third time in four weekends. In Qatar, debutant Oscar Piastri surprised with victory, but in Austin, favorite Max Verstappen hit back by controlling the short race from first place. In Brazil, there seem to be enough drivers and teams hoping for success, as Q1 and Q2 in qualifying indicated an exciting battle at the front.
In Q3 the differences were magnified due to the changing weather conditions, but the expectation is that it will remain dry on Saturday and Sunday, so we can expect a similar picture to the first two qualifying parts on Friday. The Sprint Shootout starts at 3:30 PM Dutch time. In this short qualifying session, the drivers in SQ1 and SQ2 have twelve and ten minutes respectively to drive a fast lap, and they must do so on medium tires.
Afterwards, the remaining ten drivers in SQ3 can use the soft tires. After the exciting qualifying session on Friday, there are few drivers left who still have a fresh set of C5 tires for the sprint day. In any case, Ferrari team boss Frédéric Vasseur announced after Friday that his drivers still have a set of new tires, which means the Italian team hopes to have an advantage.
Brazil promises an exciting sprint race
The sprint race itself will then start at 7:30 PM Dutch time, with preference likely to be given to the mediums. The sprint race has a distance of 24 laps and will last approximately half an hour. Including a warm-up lap, the finish flag is expected a few minutes after eight in the Dutch evening.
Brazil is the only country that has held a sprint race every year since its introduction. In 2021, Lewis Hamilton fought back from last place to fifth, while Kevin Magnussen surprisingly started from pole position last year. The Dane enjoyed the lead for a few laps, after which Max Verstappen took over. However, the Dutchman rode on different rubber than the other drivers and was unable to keep his tires alive, partly due to poor adjustment. As a result, Verstappen dropped to P4, while George Russell took the win, ahead of Carlos Sainz and Hamilton.
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There also seem to be plenty of candidates who will hope to win in 2023. In qualifying, the drivers of Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren will all see opportunities, while Aston Martin will also be surprisingly strong. From pole position, every driver will then have the hope of not relinquishing the lead.
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Will Verstappen take his 52nd Grand Prix victory in Brazil? The São Paulo Grand Prix is broadcast by F1TV and Viaplay, among others. Register with the providers to see live images of the sessions yourself. If you want an overview of all TV providers for the entire season, view this page.