Lewis Hamilton finished in first position in qualification at the São Paulo Grand Prix at the nineteenth race of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. Hamilton will start in pole position in the Sprint race on Saturday.
Max Verstappen was in second position, 0.438 seconds slower than Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas was in third position behind the Dutchman.
This is the third and final race with the Sprint Qualifying race. The qualifying session took place on Friday instead of the traditional session on Saturday. The qualification results set the grid for the Sprint race which will take place on Saturday.
The qualifying session started under overcast conditions with air temperatures at 15 degrees C and track temperatures at 25 degrees C at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit in São Paulo, Brazil.
The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4).
Q1: Stroll Eliminated
George Russell was the first man on the track in the session. Hamilton went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m08.824s.
Hamilton who topped the free practice session continued his good form as he improved on his lap time and topped the session ahead of Valtteri Bottas and the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen.
Charles Leclerc had his lap time deleted and put himself into fourth position in the dying minutes of the session. Esteban Ocon, Antonio Giovinazzi and Sebastian Vettel made it out of the dropzone with last gasp efforts.
Q1 dropzone: Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, George Russell, Mick Schumaher, Nikita Mazepin
Q2: Ocon and Vettel knocked out
Hamilton’s first lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits. Verstappen set the pace in the second qualification session with an opening lap time of 1m08.567s.
Gasly and Bottas slotted into second and third positions behind the Dutchman. Leclerc then went third fastest ahead of Bottas.
Hamilton then went fastest with a lap time of 1m08.386s, 0.181 seconds faster than Verstappen.
In the dying minutes of qualification, Bottas displaced Verstappen from second position. Hamilton topped the session as he went even faster, 0.431 seconds faster than Verstappen.
Q2 dropzone: Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel, Yuki Tsunoda, Kimi Räikkönen, Antonio Giovinazzi
Q3: Hamilton takes top position
The last twelve minutes of qualification was not for the pole position, but to determine the grid for the Sprint race.
The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers were the first drivers on the track after two minutes silence at the start of the session.
Hamilton took provisional pole with a lap time of 1m08.107s. Verstappen was slower by 0.265 seconds. Bottas slotted into third position.
Pérez and Gasly were in fourth and fifth positions. Verstappen complained that his front tyres were overheating.
Hamilton will start in first position for the Sprint race on Saturday. An important comeback for the Mercedes team as Hamilton went faster than Verstappen by 0.438 seconds.
Top 10: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Pérez, Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso
2021 São Paulo Grand Prix Qualification Results:
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:08.733||1:08.068||1:07.934||23|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||1:09.329||1:08.499||1:08.372||17|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:09.040||1:08.426||1:08.469||23|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||1:09.172||1:08.973||1:08.483||22|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:09.347||1:08.903||1:08.777||18|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1:09.046||1:09.031||1:08.826||19|
|7||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1:09.155||1:08.859||1:08.960||22|
|8||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1:09.365||1:09.030||1:08.980||22|
|9||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1:09.374||1:09.093||1:09.039||22|
|10||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||1:09.391||1:09.137||1:09.113||19|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||1:09.430||1:09.189||14|
|12||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:09.451||1:09.399||15|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:09.350||1:09.483||9|
|14||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1:09.598||1:09.503||15|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1:09.342||1:10.227||14|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:09.663||9|
|17||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:09.897||9|
|18||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:09.953||10|
|19||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:10.329||11|
|20||9||Nikita Mazepin||RAF||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:10.589||10|