#1078 2022 São Paulo Grand Prix

2022-03-03 23:00

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#2022, Fulvio Conti, Nicoletta Zuppardo, Fabio Giardini, Giulia Vergani, Giulia Noto,

#1078 2022 São Paulo Grand Prix

Across the weekend 11-13 November, Formula 1 arrives in Sao Paulo for the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, the twenty-first race of the 2022 World Champions

Across the weekend 11-13 November, Formula 1 arrives in Sao Paulo for the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix, the twenty-first race of the 2022 World Championship. The Grand Prix represents the 21st round of the season two weeks after the Mexico City Grand Prix, the 20th race of the championship. After the holding of the previous race in Mexico City, the world championship once again remains in America for the holding of the fifth and final round of the championship scheduled on this continent, following the first edition of the Miami Grand Prix, that of Canada, that of the United States of America and the previous one in Mexico City. Unlike the latter three Grand Prix, however, it is the only one calendared to be held in the southern zone, the only one among all the world championship events to be held in this part of the continent. It is the first of two rounds, along with the following Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the last race of the championship, to be held in November, the tenth of the second part of the season, and the eighth race after the mandatory three-week summer break, as well as the penultimate of the championship consisting of the record number of twenty-two rounds, as in the previous season. The contract to hold the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar, also at the José Carlos Pace Autodrome, is valid until the 2025 season. For the second consecutive edition of the race, following the inaugural one in 2021, the Grand Prix is sponsored by Dutch beer company Heineken. This edition is attended by 236,000 spectators over the course of the race weekend, which is an all-time record for the Grand Prix. The previous record belonged to the previous and inaugural edition in 2021, characterized by an attendance of 181 000 spectators over the weekend. Present in the Formula 1 World Championship calendar since the previous season, the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sees the holding of its second edition. The name of the Grand Prix, in the local Portuguese language Grande Prêmio de São Paulo, represented the 50th different name used by the Federation for a Grand Prix on the World Championship calendar.


The Autodromo José Carlos Pace, home of the race, has already been the subject, on five different configurations, of thirty-seven editions valid for the Formula 1 World Championship of the Brazilian Grand Prix, run from 1973 to 1977, in 1979 and 1980, and from 1990 to 2019. Since the first edition of this race, the track configuration used has been the one introduced in 1999. The Brazilian circuit ranks seventh among all those used in the calendar for most editions held of a Grand Prix in the history of the category, as well as being the third shortest in the world championship, behind the Monaco circuit, home of the Grand Prix of the same name, and the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez, home of the Mexico City Grand Prix. Brazil is among several nations to have hosted at least two Grand Prix on its territory, in addition to its namesake, ranking tenth among nations for most races hosted on its territory in the history of the world championship. It is the 50th Grand Prix in history to be held in the country after debuting in the 1972 season, a non-world championship round. The Sao Paulo Grand Prix is chosen, for the second consecutive season, as the third and final event, out of a total of three scheduled for this championship, along with the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix run in early April and the Austrian Grand Prix held in early July, where the race weekend features the Sprint format, a 100-kilometer race with free choice in terms of tire compounds and no need for pit stops whose result determines the starting grid for the Grand Prix. This is the sixth overall Grand Prix in the category since the Sprint, introduced in the previous season under the name Sprint Qualifying, to be the subject of this session. The Grand Prix is chosen as the event where the race weekend features the Sprint format for the second season in a row, the only race on the world championship calendar to be selected for two consecutive seasons where this session can be used. The FIA, Liberty Media and the teams before the start of the championship reach an agreement to increase the number of Grands Prix where to use the Sprint Qualifying format, which was tested in 2021 in the British, Italian and Sao Paulo Grand Prix. A total of six Grand Prix are proposed, up from the three established in the previous championship.

The Grand Prix chosen are those of Bahrain, Emilia-Romagna, Canada, Austria, Holland and Sao Paulo. Later, after the top teams veto the six rounds, who demanded an increase in spending on the budget cap, the championship promoter proposes halving the previously proposed races, but without reaching an agreement, which is discussed at the F1 Commission in mid-February. The name of the format is changed to Sprint and three Grands Prix where it takes place, those of Emilia-Romagna, Austria and Sao Paulo, are made official. The scoring system to be awarded during the Sprint, still valid for the drivers' and constructors' classifications, is changed and now includes the top eight finishers, who in order receive 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point. In the previous scoring system, only the top three ranked drivers got points, in order three to the first, two to the second and one to the third. Also in contrast to 2021, the Sprint winner, who earns the right to start from the first position in the race, is not awarded the Grand Prix pole position, which then goes to the fastest driver in qualifying. The race weekend of this Grand Prix where the Sprint format is used does not vary from the previous championship, providing for the first free practice session on Friday afternoon, followed by qualifying which is held late in the afternoon, to which determines the starting grid for the Sprint; on Saturday morning there is the second free practice session, followed by the Sprint in the afternoon distinguished by a race distance of 24 laps or maximum 60 minutes according to regulations, to which determines the starting grid for the Grand Prix; the race is as usual scheduled on Sunday afternoon. Red Bull Racing's two-time world champion driver, Dutchman Max Verstappen is the one with the most wins during a Sprint since the debut of this session in the previous season, having won the inaugural one at the 2021 British Grand Prix and the first two this season, the subject of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix and the Austrian Grand Prix. The other winning driver in this session was Finland's Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas, triumphant in the one in the 2021 Italian Grand Prix and in the one in the previous edition of this Grand Prix. The contention of this edition is being questioned in the preceding weeks.


In the aftermath of the Brazilian general elections, security concerns were raised due to unrest in the country. Some citizens have taken to the streets to protest the election results that have caused disruption in the country. Some logistics trucks en route to the José Carlos Pace racetrack, the venue, from Campinas-Viracopos airport were blocked on the highway by protesters. The political instability in Brazil has raised the question of whether the federation decides to cancel the race or whether it takes place as planned. The world motor racing body and Liberty Media are monitoring the situation to decide the fate of the race and plan to release a final decision 12 days before the event begins. Formula 1 intervenes by assuring that the race weekend is held normally. The event is then held without any problems. Alfa Romeo's Chinese driver, Zhou Guanyu, races for the first time in his career at the Autodromo José Carlos Pace, while Haas' Danish driver, Kevin Magnussen, races his 100th Grand Prix with the U.S. team. The other from the Swiss stable, Finland's Valtteri Bottas, announces his participation in the Race of Champions scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29, 2023, in Sweden, after his debut in the event was initially scheduled for this year's edition. On the eve of the Brazilian Grand Prix, Aston Martin announces that this year's Formula E champion and reserve driver for German manufacturer Mercedes, Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, becomes a reserve driver for the next championship, joining Brazilian Felipe Drugovich, this season's Formula 2 champion. Drugovich gets credentials to participate in the first Friday practice session of the following Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after driving more than 300 kilometers in Aston Martin's 2021 car at the Silverstone circuit the previous week. Mercedes in turn announces that Danish driver Frederik Vesti, a member of its Junior Team since 2021, is chosen by the manufacturer to run the dedicated tests for young drivers scheduled at the Yas Marina circuit, site of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round of the championship. Oscar Piastri, the 2019 Formula 2 champion and Alpine's reserve driver, along with French AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly, will also take part in the same test for McLaren and the French manufacturer's next championship teams, respectively.

Hamilton runs Grand Prix number 309 in his career, surpassing Germany's Michael Schumacher with 308 appearances and equaling compatriot Jenson Button's fourth overall in the history of the category, behind Brazil's Rubens Barrichello with 326, Finland's Kimi Räikkönen with 353 and Alpine's Spaniard Fernando Alonso with 357. Austrian racing stable Red Bull Racing announces that following the passing of founder Dietrich Mateschitz in previous weeks, German Oliver Mintzlaff is appointed to manage the sports area. The former managing director of the RB Leipzig soccer club will head all teams linked to the Austrian brand, including those of Italian manufacturer AlphaTauri. The other two managers who will be at the top will be Franz Watzlawick and Alexander Kirchmayr. The one who will take a step back, however, is Mark Mateschitz, Dietric's son. He has in fact resigned from his role as Head of Organics. Also on the eve of the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Formula 2 driver for the Czech Charouz Racing System team, Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, joins the Red Bull Junior Team. On Friday, November 4, 2022, Liberty Media publishes the category's financial statements, emerging that Formula 1 has recorded a positive sign on both the revenue and earnings side. Compared to the July-September 2021 period, in the similar quarter of 2022 the category totaled $47 million more in revenues and $2 million more in earnings. Specifically, total revenues increased from $668 million to $715 million (up 7 percent), and operating income increased from $80 million to $82 million (up 2 percent). Teams shared payments of $370 million, up from $338 million in 2021. Income from race promotions was down slightly, attributed mainly to the presence of the French Grand Prix in July when the year before it was held in June, and the absence of the more lucrative Russian Grand Prix, canceled due to Russian invasion of Ukraine. On the eve of the race, doubts arise regarding the participation of McLaren's British driver Lando Norris. It is suspected that it was the victim of food poisoning. He remains at rest on Thursday and skips the traditional press conference. The British team lets it be known that it has, as a reserve driver, that of the 2020-2021 Formula E and 2019 Formula 2 champion Mercedes, Dutchman Nyck De Vries, who has already replaced during the season Alexander Albon at Williams, making his debut in a Formula 1 Grand Prix, starting with the third free practice session on Saturday at the Italian Grand Prix as the Thai driver was diagnosed with appendicitis.


Fortunately, however, Norris then regularly took part in the Grand Prix. Some drivers, including AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly of France, Williams' Alexander Albon of Thailand, and Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas of Finland, said before the race that they hoped the penalty point system would be changed so that only driving deemed dangerous would be punished with points. Gasly, who has received penalty points on his superlicense in the last three races in Japan, the United States of America and two weeks earlier in Mexico City, is at risk of a one-race disqualification having accumulated ten points. The enforced stop is triggered upon reaching the twelfth penalty point within a twelve-month period. The Frenchman would be the first driver to miss a race since the points system was introduced in the 2014 season. French Formula 2 driver for British team Carlin Motorsport, Logan Sargeant, and reserve driver for British stable Williams, takes the place of Canadian Alexander Albon, during Saturday's free practice session, using the number 45. For Sargeant, it is the third line-up in the season after taking part in the first Friday free practice session of the U.S. Grand Prix in place of Canadian Nicholas Latifi, using the same number, and during the same session of the previous Mexico City Grand Prix, again in place of Albon and again with the same number in use. Starting with this championship, according to the sporting regulations, all ten teams entered in the championship are obliged to field at least two young drivers during the free practice sessions. Teams have a set number of sessions in which to field young rookies. This is the first time in a race weekend featuring the Sprint format that a reserve driver takes part in a free practice session, substituting for another starter. For this Grand Prix, like the previous one, the FIA designates German Niels Wittich as race director. Former Formula One driver, Briton Derek Warwick, is appointed assistant race steward. He has served in this capacity before, most recently at the Singapore Grand Prix. It is British automaker Aston Martin, as in the previous race, that provides the safety car and medical car. The FIA confirms the two zones for the use of the Drag Reduction System established in the first edition of the race when, under that name, the Grand Prix made its debut on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar. On the race's home circuit, the Autodromo José Carlos Pace, in the past the host track of thirty-seven editions valid for the Formula 1 World Grand Prix of Brazil, two zones are set for the use of the mobile device since the first edition of the race.

The first zone is set between Turn 3 and Turn 4, with detection of the gap between drivers placed at the apex of Turn 2. The second zone is placed on the main straight, and the detection point is established after Turn 13. The circuit, compared to the previous edition, undergoes some changes. At the end of the escape route at Turn 1 a section of modular concrete barrier, along with a tire barrier, have been installed. At the apex of Turn 6 and Turn 7 a grass concrete strip has been installed. Between the two curves, on the left side, a new guard rail was installed in the escape route. At turn 7 a minor repair of the surface was carried out. Following the creation of a new spectator area between Turn 10 and Turn 14, new guard rails and fencing were installed. On the main straight two new gates in front of garage number 7 were added. On the right side new surface grooves were removed to mitigate aquaplaning. The number 16 light panel located on the right at turn 15 is moved slightly further forward. The FIA reports that at the end of the previous Mexico City Grand Prix race, the Austrian Red Bull Racing team was drawn from the ten teams for technical inspections. The inspections covered the pit stop system, namely wheel guns, front and rear jacks, tire system, semaphore, control hardware and software, and sensors and chassis. All components inspected were found to comply with the technical regulations. On Thursday, Williams uses one of the six covers granted during the season to carry out operations on its cars.


The British stable does not receive any sanctions. Before the start of Friday's free practice session, the eighth unit related to the exhaust system is installed on the car of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu. Both Alfa Romeo drivers are not penalized on the starting grid as the newly installed components are among those that can be used in the maximum number set by the technical regulations. The sixth unit related to the internal combustion engine and the eighth unit related to the exhaust system is installed on Carlos Sainz Jr.'s car. The Spanish Ferrari driver is penalized five positions on the grid because the first new component installed exceeds those that can be used in the maximum number set by the technical regulations. The race management cancels the meeting with the drivers, scheduled one hour after the free practice session was held. For this Grand Prix, Pirelli, the sole tire supplier, is offering a choice of C2, C3 and C4 compound tires, the type of tire that characterizes the core range of the kind of tires made available by the Italian company, the same choice used in the previous Mexico City Grand Prix. As in the inaugural 2021 edition of the Grand Prix, the Italian company names the same type. This is the tenth and final time during the championship that the sole tire supplier names this type. At the same time, the type of tires that can be used for the 22nd and final round of the championship, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, scheduled for the following week on November 20, 2022, is also announced. Pirelli also makes it known that the tires for the next championship will be toughened in order to go down in pressure ensuring greater grip from the rubber, while at the same time affecting the balance of the single-seater, after tests dedicated to the tires in the U.S. Grand Prix and the previous Mexico City Grand Prix, during the second Friday free practice session extended for half an hour. Regarding the characteristics of the Interlagos track, with an overview of the tyres issue, Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director declares:


"Formula 1 heads to Interlagos next weekend: the shortest lap of the year after Monaco and Mexico. It's a historic track run anti-clockwise, which alternates some quick sections as well as medium-speed sequences of corners, such as the famous 'Senna esses'. There aren't any big demands on the tyres in terms of traction and braking because it's a very flowing layout, and the lack of slow corners means that the teams are able to control the degradation on the rear tyres. Brazil will host the "Sprint" also this year, the last of the season, and it will be particularly interesting with this car package to see what will happen on the track and, once again, the key role of the different strategies that can be used: in 2021 the grid on Saturday was equally split between drivers starting on the medium and the soft tyres. Despite the short length of the track, there's normally plenty of overtaking. Just think of Lewis Hamilton who was the protagonist of a comeback that brought him to victory from 10th place, using a two-stop strategy. So the new generation of cars and tyres seems set to provide us with another thrilling race this year".
At Mclaren, the English driver Lando Norris is happy to race on the Interlagos circuit and hopes to be able to get a good result in the Sprint as well:

"The Interlagos circuit is a really fun place to race. The mixture of the history with the brilliant fans makes it such a great atmosphere. I've finished in the points both times I've raced here so the plan is to keep the streak going. With the Sprint this weekend, it's a great opportunity to get as high up the grid as we can for Sunday's lights out whilst hopefully picking up a couple of valuable extra points. We're in the final stretch of the season so we're giving it everything we've got".


On the same wavelength as his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo is also enthusiastic about going to the track in San Paolo and declares:


"I'm excited to be heading to the track in São Paulo. The crowd there is great, particularly with the carnival vibes around the circuit which is always fun. It's an awesome track to drive with the banking and camber changes so it should make for an interesting race, and a good weekend for the fans to watch, particularly with the Sprint on Saturday. Coming off a solid result in Mexico, I'm in good spirits and we'll be aiming to use the momentum to carry us through for the last two races. Let's go".


Andreas Seidl analyzes the characteristics of the Interlagos track, also focusing on the Sprint format:


"The team are looking forward to the race weekend at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace. It's an interesting track with banked corners, the famous Senna S, camber changes and undulation, so it will be great to see the new cars on track and see what overtaking opportunities arise. It is also a Sprint weekend which adds extra excitement for the fans and the teams. It comes with some challenges that we must prepare for such as one less practice session and looking at what spares we need at the track with the increased risk of damage. However, it also provides an opportunity to pick up some vital extra points. It should provide some good entertainment for everyone watching. As we head into the final two races of the season, and with it being a double header, we need to keep our heads down and give everything we've got".


Sebastian Vettel, four-times World Champion, recalling some of his memorable races in Brazil declares:


"I have some incredible memories of Brazil, including winning the World Championship there in a very dramatic way back in 2012. It will be amazing to race around this iconic venue for one last time. While we did not perform in Mexico, our form in general has been strong recently. We are firmly in a battle with Alfa Romeo in the Constructors' Championship and we will do everything to maximise the car's potential in these last two races. It is a tough mission, but we are up for it".


Lance Stroll, in Aston Martin, is excited to race at Interlagos and also hopes to have some opportunities for good results with the Sprint as well:


"Interlagos is a great circuit with a buzzing atmosphere and a great flow. It has a true old-school feel and plenty of corners that are rewarding to get right. If we can get the best out of our car this weekend - particularly because the Sprint gives us two opportunities to perform - then we should be able to pick up some crucial points. It is also definitely possible to perform overtakes here, which should put us in a stronger position".
Moving on to Haas, Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, on the Interlagos circuit declares:


"This is one of those classic tracks that just has a good flow in it and there are always people there, whatever happens. Everyone likes to go there to race and normally there is a good race".


On the question of a Brazilian driver in his home Grand Prix, Guenther declares:


"We always welcome back Pietro driving but unfortunately, he’s not driving in Brazil this year because it’s a Sprint weekend but he will be back in the car again in Abu Dhabi. In Mexico, he couldn’t drive for long because the car had an issue. Always having a national hero driving a race in their home country brings a lot of passion out of fans, especially in Brazil. Here, the fans are very passionate even without having a full-time driver in the sport at the moment".


On the Sprint format in general and how his team has performed this season in races where there was this type of race weekend, the Haas’ Team Principal says:


"This year in Austria we scored points in both the Sprint and in the main race so for sure, I liked that. It’s a race like any other but it’s shorter and with eight drivers rather than 10 scoring points. I’m in favor of more Sprints as it makes the overall race weekend interesting by having qualifying on Friday. What I’d like even more is having qualifying for the Sprint on Friday and qualifying for the main race on Saturday morning, as the free practice currently isn’t very meaningful for anyone. Then on Saturday afternoon you have the Sprint, followed by the main event on Sunday".


On the development of the new car for the 2023 season, Guenther declares:


"Everyone in our team is working flat out on 2023 now. Development is going to plan - I don’t know if others are on plan, or even better than planned but we’ll only find that out during testing. Last year, we started a little bit late because Simone Resta, our Technical Director, had to put a team together in January which took a couple of months. In the end we produced something that was a lot better than before, and I think the trend will continue. I’m very optimistic that we’ll have a good car for next year".


Remaining in the Haas team, Kevin Magnussen has a positive opinion on the Interlagos track:


"First of all, it’s a unique track because it’s a like a go-kart track in that it’s very small and there’s this fast sort of flow in the track. Most of all it’s because there is so much history of Senna there, so if you’re a Senna fan, Brazil is a pretty special place".


On the team's performance within the Sprint format and the improvements that can be introduced, he declares:


"I think we’ve done well, we’ve scored points at every Sprint so far and I actually quite like those weekends where you get into serious business, quickly. Three practice sessions are actually a lot, and these weekends show that you can get ready for qualifying with one practice. It’s the same for everyone, you deal with it, and it becomes normal. I think six next year is good but of course the workload for the team in the garage during these weekends is very high. From a driving perspective, it’s very cool".
Remaining on the track, Kevin gives an opinion on the Interlagos track and focuses on the peculiar sections of the track that can be taken to other tracks:


"I would probably take the first three corners, the Senna esses, but I also think it’s one of those where it’s very hard to replicate - you need the exact right camber and elevation, it’s unique. With the kerbs, these days many tracks get renovated with the same type of kerb, and I think it’s great when you go to places that have kerbs where you’re able to run on and that are unique".


On the battle in the Constructors' Championship for eighth place with the AlphaTauri, the Danish driver declares:


"I ran in the points in Austin and had that battle with Vettel at the end. It’s always when you lose a battle like that, you think back and find things you could’ve done slightly different and maybe I could’ve held him but there would’ve been more risk and at the end of the day, it was super important for us to get points, so it’s better to take those points than to gamble and risk it all".


Mick Schumacher, the other Haas driver, on the Interlagos circuit says:


"The flow of the track is something that I like, I enjoy driving it. It was one of the first tracks that I drove in a Formula 1 simulator. Frankly, I just love going there, the fans are great and I’m very much looking forward to racing there again".


On the team's performance in the Sprint format and the improvements that can be implemented, Mick says:


"People take considerations on what to do and how to improve it, and I’m sure we’re still on a learning curve trying to understand it better and how to improve it. On our side, we obviously want to start the weekend off as well as we can so basically we have the highest amount of opportunities in qualifying that we can. Brazil is a track where I immediately felt very comfortable on, and so therefore I’m looking forward to going back. Even though I would’ve liked a normal race weekend there because it would’ve meant more time for us to prepare, it’s a challenge and we’re always up for a challenge".


On the novelty of a special helmet for this Brazilian Grand Prix, Mick says:


"Yes, for the São Paulo Grand Prix I’ll be wearing another one-off helmet design. In collaboration with our team partner, 1&1, I will be donating my helmet to RTL’s annual Spendenmarathon telethon as an auction prize, with all money raised going to selected children’s aid projects. The RTL broadcast team will have a replica helmet on display during their broadcast this weekend to promote the upcoming auction. I won’t spoil the surprise so you’ll have to wait to see it, but as always, I worked with Jens Munser who does all my designs".


On the battle in the Constructors' Championship with AlphaTauri for eighth place, the German driver declares:


"If you’re shy, the chances are that you won’t score points and these days we need to try and get everything out of what we have and try and finish in those points paying positions".
In AlphaTauri, Pierre Gasly, after the last two encouraging races, looks forward to the race weekend at Interlagos:


"I can look ahead to the final two races of the season taking some encouragement from the fact our performance level in Austin and Mexico was pretty good. Sure, I had penalties both times which meant there were no points, but in both places we were fighting for the top ten and I hope that will also be the case in Brazil. It's always special to go to Interlagos, as I got my first podium there in 2019 and last year I finished seventh. Generally, I've gone well in Brazil, and I also have a lot of fans there. I'm looking forward to the weekend, even though this year, everywhere we go has been a bit tougher than the previous season, so we know it's more complicated to fight to finish in the top ten, but it's not impossible. We will be aiming for the points that we need to get ahead of Haas. We know the weather can play a big part at this race and currently rain is forecast for Saturday and Sunday, so we will have to be ready to take our chances. The track is bumpy, but we found in Austin and Baku that it is not particularly difficult to deal with in these new cars and it didn't worry me too much in the simulator. However, physically, it is tough, being an anti-clockwise track as well as the fact that none of the straights are actually straight! It's another Sprint weekend and that's something that has not gone very well for us up until now, but we will deal with it, do our best and the extra race might mean an additional chance to go and chase the points we need in our championship fight, which is no bad thing".


Yuki Tsunoda concludes:


"I will be racing in Brazil in a good frame of mind after Mexico, even though I retired from the race, as overall it was a positive weekend. I had to adapt quickly to the track, as Liam (Lawson) drove my car in FP1. From FP2 onwards I built up my pace and adapted quickly enough to be prepared for Qualifying, even if I could not make it to Q3. In the race, up until the collision, I would say it was my best race so far in terms of tyre management. It's just a shame how it ended. Last year was my first time at Interlagos and it was a busy weekend, as I had never driven the track and only had one free practice on Friday as it was a Sprint event, same as this year. However, I think I managed to understand the circuit quite quickly and this year it will be more straightforward, as I know what to expect and I've recently driven it again on the simulator. So, I am confident I can be on the pace right from the first laps and have a good weekend, with the usual targets of Q3 and points. One thing that I felt even on the simulator is that the track is very bumpy, and it will be interesting to see just how aggressive the bumps are, as that will make things tricky, especially in the braking zones. I expect it to be difficult in that respect, but otherwise, all good! It's a left-handed track and I remember last year, I found it quite demanding physically, especially on the neck. It's definitely one of the toughest races of the season from that point of view, but I am fit enough to deal with it".


In Alfa Romeo Racing, Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal, declares that he is satisfied with the fact that his team scored points in the previous Grand Prix in Mexico and looks forward to being able to produce a good performance in Brazil as well:


"Going back to scoring points in Mexico was a good reward for the job done in the last few weeks, and a chance to increase our gap on our championship rivals; it also gave us further confidence in our updated package ahead of the new race week - the second to last this season. The Brazilian Grand Prix is always an extraordinary experience, from the moment you step into the track: there is so much history and you feel the passion of everyone on the grandstands. It’s also a race that can be unpredictable, so we must be ready for everything. Our aim this weekend will be - as usual - to produce the best possible performance and add valuable points to our tally. We must keep building on the good pace we’ve shown in recent races, properly nail qualifying and line up in good positions on the grid on Sunday. This way, we will give ourselves the best chance to get the job done".
Valtteri Bottas, satisfied to be back in the points in Mexico, is concentrated for the weekend in Brazil and declares:


"As a Formula One driver, the Brazilian Grand Prix is one of those races everyone wants to experience: the fans’ passion for the sport is incredible, and to be on the podium is an incredible thing to do. It was good to get back to scoring points in Mexico, especially after the difficult races we had in the second part of the season. I’m getting there in good spirits: I spent the past week in Argentina, exploring wonderful places and immersing myself in South American culture, and I feel rested and ready for the final two races of the season. Our job is not finished, yet: we must keep working on the good pace we have been showing recently, as well as on our execution, to keep up with our performances and get in the mix to bring home more points ahead of the final showdown next week".


Zhou Guanyu concludes:


"Some of the most iconic names of our sport come from Brazil, and I am really looking forward to be racing there this weekend, on such hallowed ground. It’s another new track for me, even though I got a first taste of it in the simulator in the past weeks, and for this reason I have such high expectations. It was great for the team to get back in the top ten in Mexico, adding important points to our campaign. We know our pace is good, we had proof of it recently, and I’m confident if we keep doing our job well, we’ll be able to keep the momentum going. It will also be a sprint race weekend, the final one of the season, so we must make sure to come prepared for that as well, as we have seen in the previous ones in Imola and Austria that anything can really happen".


Mercedes, after having had an excellent weekend in terms of results in Mexico, is preparing for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Toto Wolff, Team Principal, takes stock of the previous Grand Prix and the two remaining final rounds of the season:


"We didn't optimise every opportunity in Mexico, but we still managed to score good points with Lewis's great drive to the podium and George's P4 finish. It was encouraging to be in the fight for the win, showing how far we've come since the start of the year. While we're always aiming for the top spot, we should be proud of that progress and we're aiming to keep it going through the end of the year and into 2023. Brazil kicks off the final double-header of the season. Interlagos is an iconic track and the scene of so many special F1 moments, including Lewis's spectacular performance last year in the Sprint and the Race. We're proud to be coming back to Brazil, with Lewis having been made an honorary citizen this week and having had such good memories there in the past. On paper, it shouldn't be quite as strong a circuit for us as Mexico, but regardless, we want to keep up our momentum from recent races. So, we will keep working hard to hopefully be in the mix once again".


In Alpine, Esteban Ocon is preparing for this weekend and the next with great motivation:


"In terms of preparations, I approach it the same way I would any other Grand Prix weekend. But of course, this format forces all teams to be at their best right from the beginning rather than building up to Saturday afternoon for instance, and I like that. There are more points up for grabs and it's usually a good show for the fans. It's the last big push of the season with Abu Dhabi the following week and I know everyone on the race team and in both factories are giving it 110% to finish on a high".
Fernando Alonso concludes:


"There is always an element of the unknown heading to Brazil. It tends to throw up some interesting races and results. The weather is difficult to predict and we've seen some absolute classic races in the past because of this unpredictability. We will probably see some mixed weather conditions in either qualifying, the Sprint or the race. Thanks to the Sprint format we have two attempts in which to score points and extend our lead to McLaren heading into the final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi".


At Williams, Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, argues:


"Interlagos hosts the final Sprint Event of the season and so practice time before committing the car to Parc Fermé is very limited. Although not as demanding as Mexico City, São Paulo is still significantly above sea level and is a tricky circuit for the drivers to optimise. We will aim to finalise the power-unit and brake cooling setup early in FP1 and then work on the setup ahead of the evening qualifying session. It is likely that a long DRS train will form in the Sprint Race and so overtaking may be difficult. Therefore, qualifying is very important, and this will be our primary focus until FP2. The Grand Prix will depend heavily on the performance of the tyres, which this weekend is from the middle of the Pirelli range. The track temperature will play a part on the tyre behaviour and, with the forecast currently looking tropical with rain and thunderstorms in the area on most days, it could be difficult to predict the optimum tyre strategy until the race is underway. Overtaking in the Grand Prix should be easier than in the Sprint Race. Logan Sargeant continues his run of FP sessions in the FW44 and this weekend will drive Alex’s car during FP2. This is unusual for a Sprint Event and is more difficult than usual as Alex’s car will be in Parc Ferme during FP2. However, the experience that Logan will get is invaluable, and giving him another opportunity is a good investment in his future. He did an excellent job in Austin and Mexico City, and we are confident that he will do so again despite the unusual weekend format".


Alex Albon continues:


"Brazil is a really cool circuit, being one of the old school circuits with a lot of history and character. It’s also great seeing how passionate the fans are there, which makes it a great place to go racing. Heading into the last two races of the year, we obviously want to end the season on a good note, so we’ll give it everything we’ve got. Also, being a Sprint Race this weekend, it’s important to be on top of everything from the beginning of the week, so let’s see how we go".


Nicholas Latifi is excited to be back racing for the last two races of the season and concludes:


"I’m excited to get back going again for the last couple of races of the season. We’re kicking it off with Brazil and getting back into the Sprint Race events which feels like a very long time since we last had one of those. I always enjoy the fresh change to the schedule and having one practice session to get on with it before Qualifying. On paper, Brazil is not technically the most suited to our car, but the weather always offers a chance, which looks like it could play a factor this weekend, combined with the Sprint Race. We’ll be looking to take advantage of any opportunities".

Logan Sargeant, who will have the opportunity to drive Williams again in free practice, as already happened in Austin and Mexico City, declares:


"I’m looking forward to getting back in the FW44 for FP2 in São Paulo. I can’t wait to keep progressing with the team and building on the experience I gained in Austin and Mexico City. To be given the opportunity to drive at such an iconic track like Interlagos with its banked corners and the Senna S is a great feeling. A massive thank you once again to everyone at Williams for giving me another chance to get behind the wheel".


Laurent Mekies, Racing Director of Ferrari, on his passion for motorsport and the memories he has brought with him since he has been with Ferrari declares:


"It all started, as is the case for most kids around the world, by being attracted and passionate about cars since a very early age, then being lucky enough to turn this passion into a job a few years later. Fortunately there are some great opportunities to start in the grassroots categories of motorsport after university, to then climb the ladder to eventually reach Formula 1. After a long stint at Scuderia Toro Rosso and another one at the FIA, I was (again) lucky to cross Mattia’s path at a time when he was always looking to strengthening the team and that’s how I got the opportunity to join Ferrari. The best memory? Monza 2019 of course, as winning in front of our tifosi is something incomparable".


On the characteristics of the Interlagos track and how to exploit the potential to go fast there, Laurent declares:


"It is one of well established venues on the calendar. It has plenty of character with a superb mix of middle speed corners and a seriously long uphill straight line at the end of the lap. So it’s a tough one for setup choices, downforce levels and so on. It’s also a track where we have often had to deal with heavy rain in the past which makes for very unpredictable racing".


On the format of the Sprint and how it can be useful for the team and the drivers, Mekies argues:


"With the Sprint format you go straight into qualifying after only one hour of practice and that’s it. You cannot change the setup of the cars from that point onwards. So it puts some serious emphasis on the quality of your preparation work back at home, in terms of simulation and in the simulator with our drivers. It also puts all drivers to the test, having to nail a qualifying lap after so little time to adapt. From that point onwards, it is a little bit like a 400km race, interrupted by a red flag after the first 100 km (the Sprint)".


In Red Bull, Max Verstappen is happy to return to racing in Brazil and focuses on the Sprint format and the team's goal:

"It’s always nice to be back in Brazil, it's beautiful here and so rich in culture. Interlagos is a short track and with all the elevation changes and cambered corners, it's a really cool track to drive. There's obviously a lot of history at the track too, which I love. The Sprint race set up this weekend means we only have a short practice window, so that always makes it a slightly more difficult, ensuring that the car is perfect and that we set up the car well with limited time. As a team we want to finish first and second in the Championship so it's important that we make sure Checo stays ahead of Charles".
Sergio Perez, the other Red Bull driver, says:


"I am going into the final two races of the season still feeling like I have everything to win. We might be Constructors’ champions but as a Team, and for me personally, it is hugely important to secure a one-two in the Drivers’ Championship. For that I need to keep fighting and stay driven to achieve the best possible result in every race, including this weekend’s Sprint. The Sprint is a chance to score vital points, so it is important we get a good practice session in on Friday morning and qualify well. If we put everything together this weekend, we are the Team to beat and we are still so driven maintain the incredible form we have going this season".


Felipe Drugovich, after completing an important test that allows him to obtain the Super Licence to drive the Aston Martin in the first free practice of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is very happy and declares:


"It is amazing to have my first experience of a Formula One car. I learned a huge amount and we did all the necessary work and mileage to be ready for Abu Dhabi. The weather was a bit tricky, but we did quite a few laps on the dry tyres before running on the wet tyres at the end of the day. The performance of the car was so impressive: the smoothness of the gearshifts, for example, and the lateral grip means you can carry so much speed into the corners. I really enjoyed the day; it was my first chance to start working properly with the team at the track. Big thanks to everybody who made it possible".


Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s Team Principal, is very satisfied with the work done in the test by Felipe Drugovich and declares:


"Felipe did an excellent job during his Silverstone test session. He quickly adapted to the car and the changing conditions, and was on the pace after just a handful of laps. It is always exciting to see a young driver complete their first laps in a Formula One car and Felipe really made the most of the opportunity. He is an intelligent driver, worked well with the engineering team, and impressed us with his professionalism, performance and feedback".


Carlos Sainz, after dismissing the Ferrari's performance in Mexico as an isolated case, shows himself focused on the second place to be conquered in the Constructors' Championship and declares:


"I expect that Mexico is destined to remain an isolated case, because in that race, our performance suffered from a combination of problems linked to balance and the way the power unit performed because of the altitude. We are expecting variable conditions and here, when it rains, the track characteristics change completely and it becomes even more treacherous. The Constructors’ Championship is an important goal, although clearly not as good as taking the title, but all year we have been either first or second, so it wouldn’t be good to end up third".


Charles Leclerc, the other Ferrari driver, says:

"I think we will be in the running, just as we were in Austin where, if it hadn’t been for a penalty because of a power unit change, we would have had an all Ferrari front row. I really like this system because it forces you to use a good dose of instinct when it comes to preparing for qualifying. This puts a premium on the team’s planning work at home and usually, over a single flying lap, the quality of the driver is even more to the fore than when you have three hours of free practice. It’s not like a street circuit, but the level of difficulty is really high. It’s an old style track with little room for error and it has some really exciting sections. The race can be really fun and usually there are some nice fights. I’d like to finish ahead of Checo (Perez) in the classification, but it’s more important to use these last two races as preparation for 2023. Having said that, if everything goes to plan, the results should be very good and probably we can get the positions we want. We will do our very best".
On Friday, 11 November, Formula 1 returns to the historic Autódromo José Carlos Pace, better known as Interlagos, for the qualifying of Sao Paolo Grand Prix. Qualifying here in Brazil takes place on Friday because on Saturday there will be the last Sprint Race of the 2022 World Championship. It’s a warm day with an air temperature of 24 °C and a track temperature of 46 °C even if it’s quite windy and there is a high rate of humidity (68%). Weather forecasts predict rain but for the moment the track is dry although there are stormy clouds on the horizon. The first free practice session starts at 12:30 p.m. local time and given the Sprint format these are the only 60 minutes available for teams to understand and fine-tune their cars ahead of qualifying. It’s the Mexican driver Sergio Perez who set the fastest lap in 1'11"853, followed by Charles Leclerc and the other Red Bull of Max Verstappen: these three are within eight thousandths. The Dutchman struggles a little and is clearly not happy with his car set-up as he says:


"It still doesn't turn, waiting for the front end. Everywhere except six, seven - it just really doesn't turn".


Carlos Sainz with Ferrari, on soft tyres, takes fourth, just under two-tenths back. It is to say that, due to the change of the ICE component in the engine, the Spaniard will face a five-place grid penalty on Sunday’s race. Scuderia Ferrari who hasn’t been on a strong run lately and has struggled in the high altitude of Mexico City, appears to have regained competitiveness perhaps because this track could well suit their car. Mercedes are back at the top, finishing fifth and sixth, with the seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton ahead of his teammate, despite stating that it Feels like the rear is just floating around and locking up at the start of his soft tyre run. Sebastian Vettel puts his Aston Martin seventh, as Haas driver Mick Schumacher, the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly round out the top 10 positions.  Alpine pair closed the session 11th and 13th fastest, but neither of them was running on soft tyres in the session. Their direct rivals for the fourth place in the Constructor Championship, the McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, have not done better: the young Brit ends 15th fastest and the Aussie finishes last. It must be said that Lando Norris suffered from food poisoning on Thursday and was therefore not sure whether he could drive or not, so Nick de Vries was ready for a possible replacement. Despite this, the British driver showed up at the circuit even though he was not 100% recovered. Alex Albon finishes 12th ahead of his Canadian teammate only 17th. The other Canadian driver, Lance Stroll, ends the session in 14th position, after his mechanics solve some technical issues. Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda completed the field. It has been a busy session, productive for most driver with a few issues ironed out. Everyone kept it clean, there were no red flags although we did see a few drivers run wide and lock up on track as they got to grips with the track. Qualifying starts at 4:00 p.m. on a wet track, so this is going to be interesting and unpredictable. Red Bull seems to be the favorites, even if Charles Leclerc is the man to beat in qualifying with the most pole position of the year. The air temperature dropped to 19 °C and the track temperature to 27 °C: 20 °C lower than in FP1. The risk of further rain has risen to 60%. There is a queue at the end of the pit lane before the green light appeares, headed by the Haas pair: everyone wants to get on track before the weather gets worse. The conditions of the track are tricky, it’s not completely wet but at the same time is not enough dry for slicks tyres. Q1 begins and several are the cars on the track, all with intermediate tyres.


"Rain expected in ten minutes".


Is the message for Leclerc, one of the first on track.


"The track looks quite dry".
Observes Sainz, and that’s right: there are patches of much lighter tarmac, and it won't be long before a dry line starts to appear. Although with rain on the way it is essential to choose the right tyre and the right timing to establish a time that ensures passage into Q2. Leclerc is the fastest in 1'19"191, Norris is second with Stroll ahead of Perez. Now every driver is on track, also Verstappen ad Alonso who waited more than the others in the boxes.  With thirteen minutes to go Leclerc is still the fastest, followed by Gasly and Tsunoda. Russell slots into fifth and Hamilton into 12th. Bottas, who looked good earlier in practice, goes fifth, bumped down by Sainz. The track will continue to evolve and improve as it dries. With ten minutes to go this is the top ten: Alonso, Verstappen, Perez, Russell, Leclerc, Norris, Zhou, Sainz, Ocon and Stroll. Norris on the radio says it is still intermediate conditions but at the same time Gasly swaps to the softs,  it’s a brave choice and now all eyes are on him trying to find out if he made  the right choice. Tsunoda remains on the interns, as AlphaTauri split strategies. The Williams drivers and Ricciardo followed the same strategies as the Frenchman. Gasly doesn't seem to have made the right call, with the rain increasing; but surprisingly on the second lap on soft tyre he is the fastest in 1'16"557, purple in the first and second sectors: the track is now for slicks. These are hectic moments as all the drivers rush back in the pit lane to pop slicks on with less than five minutes available to make it into Q2. The situation in the Ferrari pit is confused, with the mechanics not knowing which tyre put on Leclerc’s car. Charles Leclerc agrees with his team that new intermediates must be mounted, but then - while mechanics are already doing this - the team change their mind and opt for new softs:


"So... go with new softs! Go with new softs".


Tells Marcos on the radio, and the Monegasque answers:


"It’s drizzling. I don’t know how much it will rain. But ok, let’s do it".


But Leclerc, while running, notices that his tyres are used and tells it to the team:


"We are on used softs guys! Let’s go! What are we doing?"


He goes back to the boxes, where is forced to stand on the easels for 40 minutes while, one by one, new softs are mounted on his car. The Monegasque seems frustrated as he is losing time; then, on his flying lap, he finds himself slowed down by Tsunoda, later called a joke. Meaning he has one last attempt to pass the cut. Albon now goes second fastest on softs, been one of the first to switch on slicks it makes clear that a couple of laps are required to warm the tyres up sufficiently.  The track is improving quickly so everyone needs to hurry up setting the perfect lap. At the end of a frantic Q1 Norris is the fastest in 1'13"106, 0.297s faster than Hamilton and another 0.15s faster than Alonso; both Aston Martin and McLaren’s drivers make it in Q2; Magnussen is seventh while his teammate is eliminated, same situation for Williams drivers: Albon makes it in eight position while Latifi is out. So the eliminated of this session are Latifi, Zhou, Bottas, Tsunoda e Schumacher.  The Finn says on the radio:


"I made the wrong call with the inters".


He went through two sets of the intermediate tyres before swapping to the softs a little bit too late, which explains what happened to him. It’s a shame seeing the good pace he had during FP1. Here are his words: 


"It’s a disappointing result, especially after we looked strong in FP1 earlier today. In the end, we made the call to go with intermediate tyres when pitting and that turned out to be the wrong choice: on my in-lap, I saw a Williams struggling and decided to stay on the inters. We realised softs were the best option and pitted again, but two laps were not enough to bring these tyres into temperature. Still, there’s everything to play for: we have two days to get into the points and, given our pace in the dry, we still have a chance to bring home a good result".
It’s green light again ad Q2 gets under way, and with these highly uncertain conditions choosing the right strategy is important and can make the difference.  The threat of rain isn’t quite dissipated but given the fact that the track is dry DRS is enabled for the session. Everyone is on track with slicks: used red tyres for Mercedes, Redbull and Ferrari’s drivers, new tyres for the rest of the grid. With ten minutes to go Norris is ahead of Verstappen, Gasly in third and then Alonso ahead of Leclerc. Ocon reports that there is a bit of rain on his visor but he is told that there isn't any rain on the radar.  Both Mercedes struggles on those used tyres, Russel is 13th and Hamilton 15th at risk of elimination. Russell on team radio says:


"It is spitting. We are risking too much by staying on the scrubbed tyres, we need to get out there on fresh softs".


Halfway through the session Verstappen is the fastest in 1'11"318, followed by Alonso ad Leclerc. Now a lot of driver reports drizzle and rain: it looks like it’s raining on the finish line and at the Junçao. Despite this, there are improvements on lap times: Russell jumps up into third with his teammate two tenths behind; Sainz and Perez need to push because they’re not safe in 9th and 10th position and the Ferrari’s driver says it is raining heavier. Vettel improves to eighth dropping Sainz into 11th position and there are only a few more minutes to go. The Spaniard completes his lap with the second fastest time ahead of his teammate and it’s now safe from elimination. Russell is fourth, Norris fifth, Alonso sixth. Magnussen with an incredible performance has put in some super laps in this session and it’s now seventh. Perez is only eight, Hamilton ninth and Ocon tenth. At the end the eliminated drivers are: Albon, Gasly, Vettel, Ricciardo and Stroll, with the rain returning just as the chequered flag flew out. The sky is now darker than ever and the rain looks like it is about to intensify. Q3 promises to be spectacular but reading the conditions and making the right choice in term of strategy is as important as setting the perfect flying lap. It’s almost time for Q3, there is still a minute to go before the green light but there is already a queue at the end of the pit lane: Magnussen leads on softs, ahead of the Ferrari pair, both Red Bulls, Alpine and Mercedes. Everyone is on soft tyres except Leclerc who gambles with intermediates: Ferrari splits strategies between the two drivers. Unless rain heaves it down in the next thirty seconds the track remains too dry for interns. The Monegasque driver crawled around on his out-lap but he stayed out to lap on these tyres: apparently there is a miscommunication between the driver and his engineer: he is called into the box to switch on softs after he passes the pit lane line. Perez, who is right behind Leclerc’s rear wing, sees his first lap compromised by the slow Ferrari. In the meantime, everyone else is setting time with slicks: Magnussen is on fire and goes fastest with a 1'11"674, Verstappen is two tenths back and Russell is third ahead of Norris and Sainz; follows Ocon, Alonso, Hamilton and Perez.  Leclerc now pits for slicks after 90 seconds of incredible struggling and just after the red flag is out: Russel is stuck in the gravel at Turn 5. There are still 8 minutes to go and Leclerc is 10th with no time set while everyone else did it on slicks. Obviously Leclerc is furious over the radio not only about the wrong tyre, but especially about the failure to return to the pits after the launch lap as they called him in too late. The Danish driver is in virtual pole position.


"You’re kidding".


Said to his engineer when he is told of his provisional pole-position.


"Don’t celebrate yet".
He implores. The session restarts at 4:59 p.m., but the rain is heavily increasing and the tarmac became more and more wet; Perez is out on intern showing that there is too much water in track for slicks.  The rest of the driver are at the box. It’s a surreal situation, the stopwatch keeps dropping, four minutes to go, everyone is already out of the cars. Magnussen is in his car, pulling all sorts of faces at the cameras. There are less than two minutes to go and this is looking like a Haas pole position. Magnussen is in tears, he made and heroic lap 203 thousandths quicker than Verstappen. The Haas garage is a picture of anxiety as the minutes pass, finally the checkered flag is out, what seemed to be just a dream has become reality. Kevin Magnussen takes his first career pole position, and it is also the first pole position for the American team. The Danish doesn’t seem to have any words, understandably choked with emotion. Kevin Magnussen takes his first career pole position since his Formula 1 debut in the 2014 season with the British team McLaren, at Grand Prix number 140 in the category, the third-largest margin in the history of the world championship before he took pole position, following Pérez and Sainz Jr. who took the first career pole this season. The Haas driver, in his 100th Grand Prix with the U.S. team, is the 106th different driver in the history of the world championship to get the pole start, the first Danish national in the history of the category, the 24th nation to represent a driver in the first position, as well as being the sixth different driver to take pole position this season after Leclerc, Verstappen, Sainz Jr., Pérez and Russell. Magnussen had qualified fourth in Q3 at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, but the result did not count as Haas' highest-ever start given the Sprint race, which is valid for the formation of the Grand Prix grid. The Dane is the 72nd oldest driver in the history of the category to seal a pole position, at 30 years, one month and eight days.
For the U.S. team, it is the achievement of the first qualifying position for the first time in its history since the manufacturer's debut in the 2016 season, the 41st different team to achieve the pole start, the fourth in the championship after Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes. Haas achieves pole position in Grand Prix number 143, the longest streak for a manufacturer, beating former British stable BAR's eighty-seven-race streak with Jenson Button's pole position in the 2004 San Marino Grand Prix, as well as being the first U.S. manufacturer to achieve pole position since former stable Shadow in the 1975 British Grand Prix. For the first time since the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, a Ferrari engine seizes pole position in a car other than the Maranello-based manufacturer. Verstappen, second, does not get the start from the first box in a race weekend featuring the Sprint format for the first time this season, while Russell qualified in the top three positions for the second Grand Prix in a row after the previous one in Mexico City. Norris, fourth, completes the all-British second row. It is also the best result for McLaren in qualifying since Norris' also fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Sainz Jr. reconfirms fifth in qualifying after starting in the same position in the previous Mexico City Grand Prix, while Ocon, sixth, making his first Q3 appearance at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, qualifies better than Alonso, seventh, for only the second time in the last six races. Hamilton, eighth, started the Sprint twelve positions ahead of the 20th position in the 2021 edition of the race, due to a disqualification because the rear wing allowing the use of the Drag Reduction System did not comply with the technical regulations when the device was in operation. The Briton was less than a tenth of being eliminated in Q2. Leclerc, tenth, starts from the same position in which Hamilton won the previous and inaugural edition of the race, while Albon, eleventh, misses access to Q3 by 0.044 seconds, after missing out on landing at the same stage by 0.027 seconds during the U.S. Grand Prix.
It was the ninth time in the last 13 races that Williams qualified at least to Q2. Gasly, 12th, missed a Q3 berth at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace for the first time since the 2017 edition of the Brazilian Grand Prix, while for Zhou, 17th, it was the first Q1 elimination since the French Grand Prix. Bottas, 18th, was eliminated in Q1 for the fourth time in the last eight races, while Schumacher, 20th, was the slowest driver in qualifying for the third time in the championship. Magnussen and Haas get the first pole position in history, in addition to being the first in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix and in a race run in Brazil, but both are not guaranteed to start in first position in light of the Sprint race, which sets the starting order for the Grand Prix. The Dane starts first in the Sprint on the 70th birthday of the team's owner, Gene Haas. With Hamilton eighth, Pérez ninth and Leclerc tenth, three of the top five drivers were the slowest in Q3. For the first time since the 1979 season, the championship saw four new drivers make the pole position. In addition to Magnussen, Pérez, Sainz Jr. and Russell took the first position. At that time it was Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Gilles Villeneuve, Alan Jones and René Arnoux. In 1968 alone there were five different new drivers in pole position, including Chris Amon, Jochen Rindt, Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti and Jo Siffert. All ten current Formula 1 teams have celebrated at least one pole position in their history, with Alfa Romeo winning its only pole start when it ran as BMW Sauber. It was the second pole position for a Ferrari-powered car that was not actually from Maranello, for the first time since Vettel's first-place start with the team named Toro Rosso in the 2008 Italian Grand Prix. For the first time this season, six different teams occupy the first six boxes on the grid, a situation that has not happened since the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix. For the first time since 1956, two drivers from the same team are first and last in qualifying without any penalties, or incidents. During qualifying, a time was cancelled by the stewards for drivers for not respecting the track limits. It is precisely the poleman Kevin Magnussen at Turn 8. His F1 career was over at the end of 2020 but he came back this season after a very late call up and now has a pole position to his name: 


"It’s incredible. I want to say thank you to Gene Haas, Guenther, and the whole team for taking me back on and giving me the opportunity to have a day like this - I’m so chuffed. The team put me out in the pit lane as the first car and that was the gamechanger. It gave me the best piece of track as it started to rain and we got pole. It was the longest minute of my life trying to stay calm as it looked like it was going to be wet but you never know. I’m so happy". 


His teammate Mick Schumacher who qualified last says:  


"Firstly, Congratulations to Kevin and the team - they really deserve this. On my side, it was a bit confusing but maybe I underestimated the grip. The track looked pretty damp, but it wasn’t as much as I thought. It’s very frustrating and tomorrow it means the job will be a bit harder but we’re up for it".


Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal, is euphoric and declares:


"It’s a great moment for Haas F1 Team. We’ve waited seven years for this and we work hard, it shows again that hard work and determination pays off. You must be in the right place at the right time and I think we didn’t luck into this, we worked hard to be there. When it came to it, Kevin pulled the lap off and was better than the others out there in difficult conditions. To the whole team, I can’t say more than thank you and I think it's a birthday present for the boss. I told Gene we had to do it a day early as we couldn’t change qualifying. Unfortunately, with Mick he was very quick on the intermediate tires but when we put the dry tires on for his last run, he couldn’t get the feeling with the car. Now we focus on tomorrow, we are still in a fight for eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship and we’ll put 100 percent effort to achieve it. Thanks again to the whole team and to the fans for supporting us all the time".

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance for Williams Racing, states:


"After a productive FP1 session in the dry, we were straight into wet qualifying. The conditions in Q1 were tricky with the track always likely to be ready for slicks before the end of the session but timing the swap off the intermediates was key. We got this about right, but it was tricky during the opening laps on the slick. Both drivers had several good opportunities to set a lap and Alex was able to make the most of them to qualify comfortably for Q2. Nicholas just missed out on a place in Q2 despite doing a good job in the difficult conditions. We were expecting more rain before the end of qualifying and tried to time the final run in Q2 as late as possible. Frustratingly, Alex wasn't quite able to get into Q3, which is a shame as Haas showed what a good opportunity it was today; congratulations to them on an excellent pole position. We now move focus to FP2 and the Sprint race. We will get Alex's car ready for Logan and then we'll see what we can do in the Sprint. With more tropical weather around for the rest of the weekend, a lot could still happen and we'll be ready to make the most of any opportunities".

Alex Albon seems satisfied by his performance and declares:


"As a car, what makes our tyres work is different to most people, so we were really doing our own thing today. We did a really good job with P11 and at a track like this, it's not easy and it was really close out there. We were only a couple tenths behind P5, so I'm really proud and think we did a great job. This hopefully sets us up for the rest of the weekend, but we'll see what we can do out there tomorrow".  


Nicholas Latifi adds: 


"In these conditions it was quite clear when we went out on the inters that at some point it was going to switch to slicks. So it was tricky to try to judge the conditions and we tried to build the rhythm and get the right lap in at the end and I think I was among one of the first few cars to switch to slicks, so it could have gone either way. It was frustrating as you hope to be able to make a bit of a difference in the session, but we had some issues during the session as well, and without that I think there was room for a bit more".


Sebastian Vettel, whose retirement come closer, says: 


"I always like these conditions. It was slippery out there, and very tricky to correctly judge the weather. We missed out on getting through to Q3 by a tenth - maybe even a bit less - which makes you think about where you could have made up that time. But, to be honest, I was pretty happy with the lap - then it started to drizzle, so maybe the timing was not ideal. It is a shame because I thought we could have got through today. There is lots to play for tomorrow and on Sunday".


His teammate Lance Stroll adds: 


"It was a difficult session all around today. I do not think we had the pace in qualifying, so we need to look into why that was. We will see what we can do tomorrow in the Sprint and again in the Grand Prix on Sunday. The weather is expected to be a bit up and down all weekend, so there should be plenty of opportunities to make some overtakes and pick up some points".

Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s Team Principal, states: 


"The unpredictable weather made for a challenging qualifying session today. A damp but drying track in Q1 forced everyone to run for pretty much the whole session as the surface was constantly improving. We timed the switch to dry tyres well and both Lance and Sebastian progressed. For the start of Q2 the track remained mostly dry, but some light rain returned in the final part of the session and prevented us from improving our times. There is plenty to play for tomorrow in the Sprint and we will work hard to make some progress ahead of Sunday's race".


Pierre Gasly, twelfth on the grid for tomorrow Sprint Race, declares: 


"We took the risk in Q1, as the first to fit the Slicks, and it really paid off. We knew it would be tight as the track dried in Q2, and we missed out on Q3 by just four tenths today but overall, I think it's been a positive Quali and I have to be happy with the laps I have done. The pace was obviously there, so it's a bit of a missed opportunity that we weren't able to get through to Q3, especially when you see who's on pole. I think we're in a strong position to make up some places tomorrow in the Sprint and move forward for the race on Sunday".

A disappointed Yuki Tsunoda adds: 


"I'm obviously disappointed today, I've lacked grip in general straight from FP1 and we weren't able to find a solution to this before heading into Quali. I was able to go out on the dry tyre for two laps in Q1 and try to get a good lap in, but unfortunately I just didn't have the pace with this lack of grip".


Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s Chief Race Engineer, states: 


"The weather can always throw up surprises in Brazil, and so far this weekend has been no different. As it's a Sprint format this weekend, we had to complete all our set-up work before Quali, as the cars go into parc fermé and we can't make any more changes, so our focus was on Quali preparation in FP1. As there was just one practice session ahead of Qualifying, it was a busy one and we concentrated a lot on set-up work. We managed to find a good balance on Pierre's car, but Yuki struggled more with overall grip, so we made some changes to his car ahead of Quali. It rained a reasonable amount between the two sessions, so Quali started in the damp. We made reasonable choices with the tyres, however Yuki still struggled with a lack of grip and was knocked out in Q1. Pierre did a very good job and progressed through to Q2. His pace was looking promising but on the second set of dry tyres the first lap was the one that counted, as there was some more light rain, but his front tyres weren't in the optimal temperature window, which meant he wasn't able to set a lap good enough to get through to Q3. It's disappointing as it was a strong performance from him up until that point and we could've capitalised on the opportunities in that final session. The cars are now in parc fermé, so we can't make any additional changes, which means our focus tomorrow is now on learning more about the tyres to help us try to make up places in the Sprint and the race. The weather forecast for tomorrow is still saying a chance of rain, which could work in our favour, and hopefully we can look to make our way forward both tomorrow and in Sunday's race".

George Russell who caused a red flag by taking too many risks says: 


"There were some mixed emotions for me in that session. It was a pretty unique experience in Q3 - we were one of the last cars on the road, and as the lap progressed, the rain was falling harder and harder - and it was a lot wetter in the final corner than on the lap before. On the next lap, I lost the car into Turn 4 and actually broke the headrest because my head was bouncing round so much; then I tried to do a 360 and beached the rear tyres in the gravel, which wasn't my best decision. There's a lot of gravel in there but the guys will have to take it to pieces to get everything out, so hopefully it will all be okay. Even so, P3 is a good starting position for tomorrow, and I have to say a massive congrats to Kevin and Haas on pole. These kinds of unexpected results are exactly what make sport so special".


Lewis Hamilton after a disappointed session and a meagre 8th place adds: 


"That was a difficult session overall. It wasn't an easy session to predict the weather, and then it was getting so dark that it was hard to see the rain drops out there. We were among the final cars on track, so it was getting wetter out there on my lap compared to the cars in front. I think we probably lost some tyre temperature while queuing in the pit lane, so it just didn't come together on the one timed lap that we got in and the grip just wasn't there for me. We did a lap on Inter at the end, just to scrub the tyre, but the track was always going to be slower than when it was dry. So P8 is not ideal - but George did a great job on his lap, and a big congratulations to Kevin for pole".

Andrew Shovlin declares: 


"A tricky qualifying session where each part had its own challenges. It wasn't easy to get a clear lap in, especially at the points when you needed consecutive laps, but we did manage to get through the first two sessions safely although it wasn't as relaxing as we'd have liked. The final session was all about track position; the conditions were deteriorating and, as it turned out, you wanted to be at the front of the group to get the best of the track. Neither driver had a great lap in the final session; George was happier with his car than Lewis who was lacking grip on the final run, but we have plenty of racing laps to recover with Lewis and at least he's ahead of both Ferrari and one Red Bull on the grid. The unsettled weather is forecast to continue to that could make for a bit more decision-making during the sprint race than you normally have to do - and that may bring with it more opportunity".


Esteban Ocon, who for the first time in his career made it to Q3 here in Brasil, says: 


"I'd like to first congratulate Haas and Kevin [Magnussen] for their result today. They took a risk and it paid off, so I am happy for them. For us, it was of course a challenging Qualifying session but, in the end, it's a good result for the team, finishing in sixth and seventh. It was very tricky today with the weather and we managed tyre choices well, which was important. Tomorrow is a great opportunity as the grid is quite mixed up compared to what we're used to, so we'll need to be at our best to take home the valuable points on offer for the Sprint race".


Fernando Alonso adds:


"I'm pleased with today's Qualifying, which we had to execute in very tricky conditions. In the beginning, with the Intermediate tyres, we adapted quickly, and it was nice to be in first place! Once we switched to dry tyres, we were again in first place throughout, and we seemed to be fast in these challenging conditions. In Q3, when it started raining, it was always going to be a benefit to the ones at the front of the queue. We probably missed a chance to start higher up for the Sprint, but tomorrow the aim is to make up some places and I'm sure that is possible".

Alan Permane, Alpine’s Sporting Director states: 


"We're happy with our Qualifying today with Esteban in sixth and Fernando in seventh ahead of tomorrow's Sprint. These sessions, with the mixed conditions, are always tricky to manage as it's about striking a balance between risk and reward. Of course, we have an eye on the championship and we took an air of caution in our decision making in these wet-dry conditions. We didn't need to take any risks today as we know there's a long way to go this weekend with the Sprint and the main Race when points are scored. Today, Q3 was particularly challenging as it was about either banking an early lap on dry tyres before the rain or opt for Intermediates and await what might come. Eventually, we settled on sneaking a lap on Soft tyres - like most others - and we're pleased to start in sixth and seventh. It means we're in the mix for some points tomorrow and we'll be doing everything we can to ensure we are in competitive grid spots for Sunday's Race".


Lando Norris is satisfied with his performance and declares:


"I'm extremely happy with today. I think we did the best job we could have done throughout the whole of qualifying. I think the only thing we could have done a little bit better was going out first in Q3 - but there was also some risk to that. So, apart from that, we made perfect decisions, and the team did an excellent job. The car was feeling good, even in the tricky conditions. I was extremely happy to be P1, P5 and P4 through the qualifying runs. I feel like I did a good job all day, even with how I've been feeling - and maybe wasn't driving as perfectly as I should have done, but P4 is still a great position for tomorrow, so hopefully we can stay in that position and score some good points tomorrow".

Daniel Ricciardo says:

"It was a tricky session in tricky conditions. It was quite fun to be honest, but we didn't have the pace. So yeah, that was a little tricky just to get it out of the first timed lap for the peak of the tyre. When I heard some lap-times of some of the others I was not really sure if that was possible. I simply didn't have the pace once we put the slick tyres on. We'll try to make up for it tomorrow though. The good thing is we've got the Sprint race as well, so you've got two chances and hopefully we can make up some ground".


Andrea Stella, Executive Racing Director adds: 


"It's a Sprint weekend here in São Paulo, so already on Friday evening we are discussing the outcome of Qualifying. It was a tricky session today with changeable weather demanding some difficult decisions. For us, it was a bittersweet afternoon. We're very happy to see Lando in P4 after he drove very well in all conditions. On Daniel's side, qualifying P14, we need to review why we didn't find more performance on slick tyres - so that we can recover positions in the Sprint and score good points in the race. In terms of overall preparation, we were a little concerned with our pace in FP1 but Qualifying was more encouraging. We'll do our due diligence tonight and prepare for the busy weekend ahead".


Frédéric Vasseur, Alfa Romeo’s Team Principal, says: 


"When you have pace in practice, as we did today, going out with two cars in Q1 is definitely not the result you expect. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the most of the changing conditions and we ended up paying the price for it. It’s disappointing to miss out on this opportunity, but the only consolation is that we have tomorrow’s Sprint to try and make up ground. Brazil has historically been a place where overtaking is possible, and if we replicate the pace we had in FP1, we can move up: if we do that, we give ourselves the best possible chance for Sunday’s race".

Zhou Guanyu adds: 


"Everything was going really smoothly, especially considering the conditions were very slippery. Unfortunately, we probably pitted one or two laps too late, and I only had one push lap on the slicks, so it was nearly impossible to give everything on it. It’s obviously frustrating to be missing the cut-off by less than two tenths, especially because we could’ve likely improved had we gotten one more lap, so it’s a bit of a tough one. We felt we had the pace in the beginning, I did a really good lap on the softs, so it makes it more frustrating as I feel there was a lot more we could have given today. Nevertheless, we can hopefully gain some ground tomorrow and improve our starting positions ahead of Sunday’s race".


Max Verstappen is overall happy with second place: 


"We were working with pretty tricky conditions today and I locked up into turn 8 which cost me pole today. It’s just difficult out there and you have to see how far you can push, but you don’t want to make any big mistakes that can be costly. Tomorrow is looking good but in these conditions anything can happen. We are still up there at the front which is the most important thing. Let’s see how competitive we are going to be tomorrow in the race, we have no clue what will happen with the weather but that always makes Interlagos so special for everyone. Well done to Kevin and the Haas team today, I hope they enjoy every moment".


Sergio Perez, blocked by Leclerc did not have the possibility to make good lap so he remained stuck in ninth position. He is quite frustrated by that: 


"It was an unfortunate qualifying. I was held up by Leclerc and Ferrari. It was very clear to me that he was too slow on the inter on the outlap and I thought he was going to pit. I was expecting him to box and go onto the slicks. Instead, he stayed in front of me and I had to finish my lap just behind him, that meant I lost too much time. We will never know where I could have finished, top three should have been possible today but instead we finished P9 and I am super disappointed with the result. We will try hard tomorrow to try to recover and get into the points".


Christian Horner, Team Principal and CEO of RedBull racing, adds: 


"Firstly, well done to Kevin Magnussen and Haas on pole. Conditions were tough, the rain was all around us throughout Q1, Q2 & Q3 but the guys did a good job of navigating their way through to Q3. Unfortunately, a small mistake at turn 8 cost Max a bit of time but nevertheless, being on the front row is very positive for the sprint race. Checo was unlucky, Charles was out on a set of inters and I think Checo was expecting him to come into the pits but he stayed out. This compromised Checo’s lap but I’m sure he can race well from there tomorrow, so it promises to be a very exciting Grand Prix weekend".


Simone Berra, Pirelli F1 Chief Engineer says: 


"It was a complicated qualifying today at Interlagos, as the drivers had to become familiar with track conditions very different from those experienced earlier in the day during FP1. In fact, in free practice we had already recorded a high rate of track evolution; the asphalt temperature was above 40°C in FP1 but dropped by around 20 degrees in qualifying when the drivers had to tackle a wet track. The chosen compounds worked well in the different conditions encountered today: even on a cold track, the soft tyre showed good performance, with better times than in FP1 despite the less optimal conditions. Although the free practice data is preliminary and must be confirmed tomorrow, it seems that all three compounds can play an important part in different race strategies".

It is Saturday and it is time for FP2, before the last Sprint race of the season. The session starts and the first fast lap is recorded by Valtteri Bottas on softs, in 1'16"463. immediately the two Ferraris get on track, together with Mick Schumacher, Guanyu Zhou, Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel and Logan Sargeant, who is running for Williams. Russell, Perez, Hamilton, Ocon, Ricciardo, Zhou, Sargeant and Latifi are still in the boxes. Everyone is trying the race pace, with Leclerc e Sainz lapping around 1'16"4. Perez takes the second place, thanks to his hard tyres; Russell and Gasly are on softs. Charles Leclerc tries again and laps around 1'17"0, while Sainz returns to the box. Good lap from Esteban Ocon, who takes the lead in 1'16"604. Almost all the drivers on track opted for softs, but due to the hight temperature of the asphalt (50 °C) there is a lot of degradation; Carlos Sainz improves in 1'15"856 but remains ninth, while his teammate Charles Leclerc is now tenth: with hard tyres the Monegasque does not seem to have the right feeling. George Russell is back on track on hards, but he does not achieve a good result: he runs with a time of about 1'17"0. The FP2 comes to an end, with Sergio Perez undoubtedly the best on track, between 1'15"0 and 1'16"0 on softs. The teams will have to make the right decision regarding the tyres in view of the Sprint race. Later in the day, it is time for the last Sprint race of the season: as the tyre blankets are removed on the grid, finally the tyres used by the teams are revealed. Verstappen is one of only two runners to opt for mediums, along with Nicholas Latifi, while the rest is on red-marked softs. Lights out, and the poleman Magnussen goes off the line to defend his position advantage over Verstappen, who is under pressure from Russell, but manages to hold on to P2. Behind, Sainz comes close to pulling a move on Norris, while the Alpine duo Ocon and Alonso goes wheel-to-wheel and makes contact at Turn 4, before another close moment on the pit straight, which will be investigated by the stewards.


"I lost the front wing, thanks to our friend. He pushed me in Turn 4, and then on the straight".


Says Alonso on the radio, as he pits for repairs. Sainz tries again a move on Norris at the start of Lap 2, with Verstappen again forced to carefully place his car to keep Russell at bay. Verstappen builds up some more temperature in his tyres to close in and breeze past Magnussen along the main straight on Lap 3, with Russell and Sainz following one lap later. Further back, Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc run now P4, P5 and P6 respectively, further demoting Magnussen. After the scrap between the Alpine drivers, another battle of the team mates sees Lance Stroll pick up a 10-second penalty for an aggressive defensive move against Sebastian Vettel on the run between Turns 3 and 4, which forces the German to take to the grass. Back up front, it is Russell’s turn to attempt a pass with DRS on Verstappen, who is struggling on his mediums. After an initial try on Lap 12, and a slight delay to his attack when Alex Albon parks up his Williams, Russell passes Verstappen on Lap 15, on the outside of Turn 4. Also Sainz makes his way past the Dutchman into Turn 1 on Lap 19, but the rear of the Ferrari clips Verstappen’s front wing mid-corner, inflicting damage that also opens the door for Hamilton to get ahead. Russell continues to go and win the Sprint, assuring himself the P1 on the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix, with Sainz beating Hamilton to P3 and the Red Bull pair Verstappen and Perez in fourth and fifth respectively. Leclerc finishes P6 after his qualifying struggles, with Norris also getting in front of Magnussen, who claims the final point. Vettel is ninth, followed by the lead AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, the other Haas of Mick Schumacher and the Alfa Romeo pair Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton, Ricciardo and Zhou are all set to be investigated after the race, with potential start procedure breaches being flagged, meaning there can yet be a change to the points-scoring positions if the Mercedes driver is penalised. Alonso is 15th after his incidents with Ocon and trip to the pit lane, as Yuki Tsunoda, Stroll, Ocon and Nicholas Latifi complete the order and Albon being the sole retirement.

The stewards later state that Alonso has been at fault for the second incident with Ocon, handing him two penalty points and a five-second time penalty that drops him to P18 on the grid for Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Tsunoda, Stroll and Ocon all move up a place. George Russell wins his first career Sprint and gets the first Grand Prix start. The British Mercedes driver is the third different driver to win this session, after Verstappen and Bottas, since it debuted in the world championship the previous season. Russell is the second different driver this season to triumph in a Sprint after Verstappen's two wins in those held in the Emilia-Romagna and Austrian Grands Prix. Russell starts in first position for the second time in his career, following his pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Mercedes, making its second first-position start in the season after Russell's own start in the Hungarian Grand Prix, reconfirms its pole start in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix for the second consecutive edition of the race, after Bottas, winning the Sprint also of the previous and inaugural edition of the Grand Prix, obtained the first starting position, which at the time was recognized as pole position. The German constructor gets the first victory in a championship race session for the first time since the first edition of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Hamilton, as well as getting the seventh start in its history ahead of everyone in a Grand Prix held in Brazil. The German manufacturer occupies the front row for the first time this season as Hamilton, the third-place finisher, starts second in light of Sainz Jr.'s penalty. For the former world champion, it is also the first front row start of the year. Verstappen finishes fourth, but starts third because of Sainz Jr.'s penalty, from the same position where he won the first Miami Grand Prix. Only three drivers at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace have won by starting third, namely Ayrton Senna in the 1993 Brazilian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher in the 2000 one and Kimi Räikkönen in the 2007 one where he won the drivers' title with Ferrari. The second row is all Red Bull Racing with Pérez's fourth place given Sainz Jr.'s penalty after finishing the Sprint in fifth. The Mexican also started fourth in the previous and inaugural edition of the race. Leclerc starts fifth, never having started better than sixth in a Grand Prix held in Brazil, while Norris is sixth, for the seventh time this season from the third row of the grid.


Sainz Jr., the runner-up, is seventh on the grid due to a penalty, having finished on the podium from the last starting position at the Brazilian circuit in the 2019 edition of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Magnussen, despite getting his first career pole position in qualifying, starts in eighth position. Vettel starts ninth, equaling his best start result from the Monaco, Azerbaijan and Japanese Grands Prix, while Gasly starts tenth in what is his first top-10 start since the Singapore Grand Prix four races ago. Ricciardo starts eleventh, a starting position for the third time in the last four races, while Schumacher, ranked twelfth, gains eight positions after starting in last position given the twentieth qualifying position. Alonso, fifteenth at the finish of the session, and who had to start eighteenth because of the penalty, starts seventeenth because of the penalty given to Tsunoda, with his two worst starting positions of the last fifteen races in both race weekends featuring the Sprint format, in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix and the Austrian Grand Prix. Albon starts last, having missed qualifying Q3 by 0.044 seconds. Mercedes occupies the front row with both cars for the first time this season and for the eighty-third time in its history, setting a new record, surpassing Ferrari by a length for the first time since the first edition of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Haas led at least one lap in a race session for the first time since debuting in the category in 2016. At the end of the Sprint, Pierre Gasly is summoned by the stewards for not complying with the instructions set by the race management by driving slowly during the reconnaissance laps before lining up on the grid. The French AlphaTauri driver receives a warning. Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are summoned as the Spaniard caused a collision with the Frenchman during a duel. Alonso is penalized five seconds on his race time and two points on his super-license. The Spaniard, 15th at the finish, climbs to 18th position. The stewards decide not to impose penalties after noting that during the starting procedure several drivers did not respect the correct positioning of the car in their box on the grid, after being measured and found to be smaller than normal, a situation made difficult for the drivers' visibility before taking their positions. During the Sprint a time was cancelled by the stewards to the drivers for not respecting the track limits. The driver in question was Max Verstappen at Turn 4. George Russell will be the poleman on Sunday:


"That result just goes to show all the hard work that everybody is putting in and the progress that we have made as a team. The car has been feeling great since we brought our last update to Austin, but I wasn't expecting to have that much pace. Obviously, it's difficult to know how Max would have got on had he been running the Soft tyres - but it's still a great feeling to come out on top. It was a nice battle - in the Sprint, you're always managing the balance of risk and reward, and I didn't want to take too many risks and end up starting at the back - but I also wanted that victory. Lewis did a great job coming from P8 and it's crazy to think we're both starting at the front, it's going to be exciting. I'm sure Max will be flying tomorrow, but we're in the nice position where we can maybe split the strategies and go for the win".

Lewis Hamilton, at his home Grand Prix, hopes to achieve good results also tomorrow:


"I'm so happy to be standing here - it's been an incredible week so far. It was a difficult qualifying for me but the crowd at the circuit today has been amazing. First, congratulations to George - my race was all about working my way up from P8, and this result goes to everyone back at the factory, everyone here at the track, they have just been working so hard this year. For us to be on the front row tomorrow is incredible: from there, we should be able to work as a team and hopefully hold off the cars behind. We're going to be pushing as hard as we can and if we can have good tyre degradation and hopefully some good weather, then we will have a nice fight on our hands”.


Andrew Shovlin is satisfied with tosay’ results:


"A fantastic drive from George to win the Sprint and a great recovery from Lewis to join him on the front row tomorrow. After such a lot of hard work over the season by the drivers and the entire team in Brackley and Brixworth, today was a fine reward for those efforts. We were no doubt flattered by being on the right tyre against Max but we can also look at the fact there were two Ferraris and Sergio on the soft and we clearly had pace on them. We're certainly not expecting an easy fight tomorrow; Max has a slight tyre advantage with a second new set of Soft but having both cars on the front row gives us the best possible opportunity to control the race from the front. We're all excited for the race and hopefully the conditions won't be too different to what we just had".


Carlos Sainz got P2, but due to the penalty, tomorrow will start seventh:


"It was a good Sprint today. We had a solid pace, so we were able to overtake a few cars and then I defended well to finish P2. Tomorrow we can expect a very busy race as I will have to serve the penalty and will start from seventh. We still have some work to do if we want to fight at the very front, as Mercedes is also very competitive here. However, I’m confident we can run a good race and I think we are up for a very interesting battle. Now it’s full focus on tomorrow".


Charles Leclerc will continue to push as hard as he can:


"Starting from P10, my target today was to gain as many positions as possible without taking too many risks. That’s exactly what I did and with the good pace we showed today, I will push as hard as I can in the race to bring home a strong result for the team".


Laurent Mekies, Ferrari’s Racing Director, is overall satisfied about today:


"All in all, this Sprint went reasonably well for us, as we had decent pace and moved up the order, with both drivers securing good grid positions for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. Carlos and Charles showed great fighting spirit and did an excellent job in bringing home as much as was possible today without taking too many risks. Carlos drove a great race, pushing right from the opening lap, then attacking Max (Verstappen) for second place and finally defending from Hamilton’s comeback. Thanks to his aggressive drive he will start from seventh tomorrow, thus mitigating the impact of the penalty he has to serve after changing the engine. Charles also did very well by gaining four places, thus securing a place on the third row, which is what we had targeted. We expect a long and demanding race tomorrow and we will now prepare for it thoroughly, going through the data we gathered today".

Lando Norris reached his main goal:


"Tough day today but our main objective was to pass Magnussen, and we did that, so I'm happy. We didn't really have a chance to compete against the top three teams and I really wasn't expecting more than P7. I found it tough today. I've been unwell, it was hot and this track is hard work - but we had a good race. We're in a decent position, and if we can get both cars into the points tomorrow, it could be a really good day for us. We'll work hard tonight, and see what we can do".


Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed this last Sprint:


"It was fun today, definitely fun. There were lots of battles. I want to watch it again to see because I gained spots and then lost spots, so I don't know if that's positioning. I'm sure I could have done some things better - but yeah, then I found my way back through, so it was decent. I guess when you start in the midfield, it can yo-yo a little bit. I think I've still got to find a couple of tenths, just to help out for tomorrow and put me a bit more in the fight, so we'll see what we can do tonight - but we gained some spots, so that's positive and obviously puts us much closer to the points tomorrow".


Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s Team Principal, concludes:


"Mission accomplished. We had two targets today in Brazil: with Lando, we wanted to ensure we had the best finishing position behind the top three teams. They are significantly faster than us and, for the moment, there's little we can do other than make sure we're ahead of everyone else. For Daniel, we simply wanted to move forward to start tomorrow's São Paulo Grand Prix in a better position. Thanks to good work from the drivers and the entire team, we achieved both objectives, scored two points with Lando, and so are happy with today's outcome. The full focus now is on race prep and we're looking forward to another exciting race at Interlagos".


Today’s poleman Kevin Magnussen is satisfied with starting in the top ten tomorrow:


"I really enjoyed today - and we got a point, and that’s also a very important point given our battle for eighth with AlphaTauri. We knew we weren’t going to win this race and that wasn’t really the aim. It was all about enjoying staring from the pole position and then really trying to get a point out of it. The dream was to try and finish ahead of Lando (Norris) just behind all the big cars, that didn’t quite happen, but we’re still happy with the point for eighth. We start from there tomorrow and that’s a position we’d be very happy about in regular qualifying. So, we start from inside the top 10 and hopefully we can go for points tomorrow too".


Mick Schumacher is sad for the technical issue he had:


"We had a good opening lap which definitely helped get us into position and our pace didn’t look too bad either, so we were able to fight a bit. We had a small issue with the engine, so that’s something we need to look at, but we’ll find out how much pace we lost through it. We’ve started further back before and got into the points so if everything goes well I’m sure we have a lot of potential".


Guenther Steiner, Haas‘ Team Principal, is hopeful about earning points tomorrow:


"After starting from pole with Kevin today, we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish and get points. Only one point but it’s difficult to do with all the big boys coming through but we got one. Mick had a very good race - he came from P20 to P12 - and for tomorrow we’re in a good position. There’s a chance for points so it was a pretty good day to for us and once again, fantastic teamwork".

Pierre Gasly analyses his race:


"I'm happy with today, starting 12th and finishing 10th, it was our main goal today to recover some positions ahead of tomorrow's race. The start of the race was good, it was tricky trying to reach the end on the Softs, but we've finished in a strong position. We had some nice battles out there and I don't think we could've done much better. We're in the top 10, we know we're capable of fighting up there, so we'll try to come away with some points".


Yuki Tsunoda continues:


"I managed to gain some positions at the start but unfortunately, I didn't have the pace after that and I really struggled. It's been a difficult weekend in general, as I've really lacked grip, and there's not much you can change after Qualifying in the Sprint format, which makes things harder. I don't think tomorrow will be that easy, but I'll do whatever I can to try and make my way forward".


Jonathan Eddolls, AlphaTauri’s Chief Race Engineer, concludes:


"The focus for FP2 was tyre evaluation in preparation for the Sprint. As the cars were in Parc Fermé we couldn't make any mechanical changes to them, so it was a case of understanding the optimum aero balance and tyre management techniques to make the tyres survive for the 24 laps. There was a part of us that was hoping for some rain today, as we'd shown that the car was competitive on the Inters on Friday, but it never appeared at the track. This meant we started both cars on the Softs which, from FP2, was faster over the Sprint distance. Both drivers made up places at the start, and Pierre was able to capitalise on the Alpines dropping back, but Vettel was just a bit quicker than us today, so we couldn't keep him behind. Yuki continued to struggle with sliding but made a couple of places at the end with the penalty of Stroll and passing Ocon, we need to understand why he was struggling that much. Tomorrow is looking dry, so we will need to evaluate the strategic options we have to try to maximise our chances in the race tomorrow".


Sebastian Vettel, despite the little problems he had, is overall happy:


"I was fighting hard out there today - a few of us were stuck behind Esteban [Ocon], who I think had some damage, so that lost us some time. Without that, I might have been able to catch Kevin [Magnussen] before the end - and that would have earned us a point. Overall, however, I think we can be happy with today: our pace was good, we looked after the tyres well and we were making up places. Everything worked well today - let us see what we can do tomorrow".


Lance Stroll talks about his pace loss:


"I made a good start and gained a few positions on the first lap. Everything was looking positive, but then I started to lose a little bit of pace as the race unfolded - and that meant I dropped a couple of places battling in the midfield. We need to look at what happened there. We go again tomorrow - and anything can happen at this place".


Mike Krack enjoyed this Sprint, but the team has work to do in view of tomorrow:


"I think the Sprint served up a very entertaining spectacle for the fans today. Even though today's race is only to determine the grid, we saw hard racing up and down the grid, not least among our cars. Sebastian had good pace and was able to make it count as he secured ninth place at the flag. Lance had a strong opening lap, making up three places, but he was not as comfortable in the car today and his pace dropped off in the second half of the race. Nonetheless, it is Sunday that counts and we will take the lessons learned today to try and maximise tomorrow and score some points".

Esteban Ocon hoped for a better result but the crash with his teammate changed everything:


"Today was not the day we needed. We were optimistic leading up today's Sprint Qualifying after a good first Qualifying session on Friday but, unfortunately, the racing incident on the first lap very much ended our race today. The car damage was extensive and we lost significant performance and there was nothing left to do after that. It is really a shame as we were performing well this weekend and needed all the points we could get for our championship battle. We'll need to pull together as a team to fight our way through the field tomorrow and get back into the points".


Fernando Alonso does not hide his disappointment:


"It was not the Sprint Qualifying we wanted today. Unfortunately, I touched with Esteban on the first of the lap of the race and we lost the momentum from there. With the deficit lost in the pit-stop, the Sprint is too short to recover places. On the positives the car is very fast, and we have good race pace, so all is not lost this weekend just yet. We start in fifteenth for the race on Sunday and we have a chance to score points and that's the goal. We both tried to do our best and unfortunately today it didn't work out. We will think about it tomorrow and try to score points for the team".


Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine‘s Team Principal, has not sweet words for his drivers:


"We are extremely disappointed with today's Sprint Qualifying result, which has put us in a worse position on the grid for tomorrow's main race. We are in a very tight and competitive championship fight for fourth place in the Constructors' Championship; an objective for which over 1,000 staff are tirelessly working and striving towards. Frankly, both Esteban and Fernando must do a better job to compliment the fantastic efforts of everyone in the team by avoiding on-track incidents and compromising the entire team's performance. Today, both drivers have let the team down. I expect more from them tomorrow where we must do everything we can to recover some points from the weekend for the Championship. We aim to ensure we go to Abu Dhabi next weekend in a position where we can reach our season goals. Tomorrow is a new day".


Difficult day for the 2022 World Champion Max Verstappen:


"It was a really difficult race for us today, I honestly didn’t expect that type of performance. To be that slow in such a short race wasn’t great, maybe the mediums were slower than I expected they would be, but at that pace, I don’t know if the softs would have got me where we wanted. We need to understand why our degradation was so bad too. There wasn’t much I could do, the front and the rear were sliding around a lot - I had no grip. At the moment I’m not feeling too confident for tomorrow but let’s see what we can do overnight, there’s a lot of data to analyse".


Same for Sergio Perez:


"There is plenty to analyse tonight because today wasn’t great, it was a poor afternoon out there. For some reason we had higher degradation than we expected and generally the car balance wasn’t there. I was expecting a lot more pace and it was very difficult to make any progress, I couldn’t fight with Lewis or Carlos ahead of me, and in the end I couldn’t get close enough to Max. We are behind Mercedes and Ferrari this weekend, they are very strong and seem to have a lot more pace than us. We lost a lot of performance from FP2 to the Sprint race, I felt a lot happier this morning with the car. I think if we continue with this trend we could struggle in the race, so we need to improve, get back into our rhythm and understand what happened today. Hopefully we can turn it around".


Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal and CEO, concludes:


"We felt that the soft was limited in range so we took the decision to start on the mediums, thinking if we could survive the first half of the race, we would be alright. However, when we got there, we found we were suffering worse degradation than anticipated. To add to that, Mercedes had a quick car today and those two factors meant we couldn’t hold them off. They have been developing the car all season and continual upgrades have enabled them to get closer and closer throughout the year. I think the soft tyre would have been better but the advantage is we go into tomorrows race with an extra set, so what we gave up strategically today we get back tomorrow. Mercedes will be quick, they will drive a tactical race and its two Red Bulls against two Mercedes with Ferrari thrown in. It sets up a fascinating grand prix tomorrow".

Valtteri Bottas is confident about tomorrow:


"I gave everything I had in the sprint and we’ll be starting tomorrow in a much better place than we were today. I lost a couple of positions at the start, but I had good momentum after that and our pace looked ok. We were able to make up places and keep making progress until the end of the race. The longer the stint went, the better our pace became, and this gives me confidence about tomorrow: the objective is to make it into the top ten and I think it’s a wholly realistic one. We had better pace than the cars around us today, so let’s bring home some points tomorrow".


Zhou Guanyu talks about the good pace he had:


"Our pace was actually quite good today, and we can be satisfied to gain a few positions back and a better place on the grid ahead of tomorrow. At first, I thought this would be a difficult afternoon as I didn’t have an easy opening lap - I lost a few positions after being boxed in and I also went wide in turn five. I feared we were just going to remain there for most of the race, but we were fairly quick and could overtake quite a few cars on our way to P13. The car felt good, so if we work on our lap one performance and keep our position at the start, we will have a very good chance to be fighting for the top ten tomorrow".


Frédéric Vasseur, Alfa Romeo’s Team Principal, analyses the track and still thinks the team can achieve good results tomorrow:


"Both cars made some good progress from the back and we showed some good pace, which leaves us confident ahead of tomorrow’s race. It will be a long one but we’ve seen today that there can be plenty of action, and if we can replicate the performance we had today, we should be well in the mix for points. It will be important to have a clean start and make sure we keep out of trouble in the opening stages, but the potential is there for a good result".


Nicholas Latifi had a difficult race:


"It was a very lonely afternoon out there. We found some damage on the rear of the car after FP2, which we fixed before the sprint race. However, after two or three laps the car began to feel difficult again. I ran over some debris as well, which caused some significant damage to the floor".


Alex Albon is the only driver who retired, so is of course disappointed: 


I don't know what happened to be honest, but I think it was the debris caused by Fernando and Ocon on the main straight. Ultimately, from the start it was not good with low grip and front locking every corner for the first laps, so we really need to have a good look at the car overnight". 


Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, looks at tomorrow and at the possibility to recover some positions:


"The Sprint race was very difficult for both drivers. Alex had a poor start but was starting to get things back under control and was catching the group in front when he ran over some debris, which caused him to retire. Nicholas's car needed a bit of work to fix an issue from FP2 and his team did a good job to get the car ready. Unfortunately, he struggled for pace throughout the Sprint race and we need to see if there is anything we can do to recover some of this for tomorrow".


Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, analyses the tyres used by the teams and the overall performance of the cars on this particular track:


"It was an action-packed Sprint, especially with all the overtaking that took place throughout the race. The excellent performance of the P Zero Red soft in free practice prompted the teams to select this compound for today’s race, with a total of 18 cars choosing the soft, which showed plenty of pace here in Brazil. The battle between Max Verstappen and George Russell, on different compounds, was one of the highlights. Today’s short race means that it wasn’t possible to evaluate the performance of the medium tyre, which nonetheless seems very close to the soft. As a result, there’s a wide variety of strategies possible for tomorrow, which should lead to a great show".

On Sunday, the Sao Paulo circuit is ready to host the penultimate race of the 2022 season. Although Max Verstappen has already been crowned World Champion and Red Bull has placed first position in the Constructors' Championship, there are still several battles going on. In fact, both the fight for the place of Vice World Champion, between Checo Perez and Charles Leclerc, and in the constructors’ for second between Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes are still on. These tight fights could find a conclusion right on the Brazilian circuit, we just have to wait for the green lights and see what it will have in store this Sunday. Saturday's Sprint Race saw George Russell take pole position followed by teammate Hamilton, the first in search of his first career win, the second of a first win this season. Following them the two Red Bulls, Leclerc, Norris and Sainz, are penalised with 5 grid places for use of additional power unit elements. Tsunoda will start from parc fermè due to changes of some parts on his single-seater. Track conditions at the moment look optimal, with 24 °C outside and the track up to 53 °C. According to the strategies presented by Pirelli, the race could take place on two stops or more, it’s unlikely to be able to finish the run with just one stop. The grid in terms of compounds is a mixture of softs and mediums: Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen, Mick Schumacher, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda taking mediums, the rest on softs. The only one to start with hards will be Alex Albon. Lights out and the race starts. Excellent start for the two Mercedes who maintain the position and are the first to approach Turn 4, followed by the RedBulls. Leclerc has a slow start with medium tires and Norris takes advantage of that, taking the fifth position from the Monegasque. The action does not take long to arrive: at Lap 4 Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo have a contact at Turn 8. After being hit in the back by the Australian's McLaren, Haas spins and then overwhelms Ricciardo in turn, thus marking the end of the race for both of them. The Aston Martin Safety Car enters and Alex Albon takes the occasion to go to the pits and change tires putting mediums, clear that the hard does not work well. In the meantime, Leclerc is also reassured that a reported engine issue should not be a problem during the race.


On Lap 7, the SC regime ends and the race is ready to restart. Feeling like a flashback from last year, Verstappen makes contact with Hamilton in Turn 2. The British's single-seater seems to come out unharmed, but drops in eighth place, on the contrary the Redbull of the Dutchman needs a change of the front wing. But they are not the only ones to have a contact, while Leclerc is trying a move, his nose clips Norris’ car. The Monegasque ends up on the wall but fortunately manages to go back to the track and pit to change the front wing, while Norris carries on without any issue. Both contacts have been noticed by the race direction and are under investigation. After both returning to the pits, Leclerc rejoins the track eighteenth and Verstappen seventeenth, both with a new medium set. In front, Russell is still leading, followed by Perez, Sainz, Norris, Vettel. Hamilton manages to make some moves and quickly overtakes in a few laps Schumacher, Gasly and Vettel, placing himself fifth. In the meantime, the first news about the investigations arrive: 5 seconds of penalty for Verstappen and Norris. Hamilton also manages to overtake Norris and take fourth place. Next is Sainz, who however returns for an early pitstop since there is a stuck tear-off in his rear-right brake duct. On Lap 23 Leclerc pits again for new soft, dropping to seventeenth ahead only of Latifi and behind Tsunoda. Stop also for Perez who puts mediums and comes back sixth behind Bottas but ahead of Sainz. Verstappen also stops for used soft and serving the penalty. Russell is also forced to stop to cover the Redbulls and gets back in front of them. Hamilton is currently the leader but has yet to stop, along with the British only Stroll has yet to pit. On Lap 30, Hamilton enters for new mediums and comes out fourth, behind Sainz’s Ferrari. At the moment the grid sees Russell, Perez, Sainz, Hamilton, Alonso, Bottas, Vettel, Ocon, Gasly. Leclerc is still 13th and Verstappen 16th, trying to rebuild his race after serving the penalty. Russell slowly extends his advantage, leading with a five-second margin over Perez. Carlos Sainz makes a second pit stop on lap 37 for new mediums, coming out ahead of Bottas who is currently in fight with Vettel. Meanwhile, Hamilton is in the DRS zone of Perez, going for the second place. The Mexican tries defending himself against the Silver Arrow but fails to hold the position and is soon overtaken with the DRS on the straight.

At the moment there are two Mercedes in charge. Leclerc surpasses Norris but immediately after he returns to the pits to put softs for the last stint. Russell has a 9.6s lead over Hamilton. Perez pits leaving the virtual podium to Sainz. Hamilton is also called back to the pits, despite his complaints, exiting with eight-second deficit to Sainz - and a two-second lead on Perez. The British driver in fact has claimed to still have good tires, but the team decided to stop him in order to cover off the Perez stop. Pit-stop also for Russell who has a 22 second lead from Sainz, then is still the leader of the Brazilian Gran Prix. Leclerc continues his climb through the grid that is interrupted only by a yellow flag following the stoppage of Norris on Lap 52 in the central sector at Turn 10 due to a loss of power. It comes to develop a VSC to recover the machine, but soon a safety car comes out because of the need to use a crane to move the McLaren. There are 13 laps left till the end of the race, the SC is still on the track, but the dubbed are free to go, except for Tsunoda who remains behind Sainz. The two Mercedes still occupy the first two positions and when the SC will end they are given the green light to compete:

"You are racing, just be respectful".


Russell is told. Problems between the two Red Bull drivers, as Verstappen decides not to help Perez in his fight for the second place in the Championship, by refusing to give him the sixth place which would permit to the Mexican to arrive at the last race of the year with some advantage over his rival Charles Leclerc. At the restart, Giampiero Lambiase, Verstappen’s track engineer, asks to the driver to pass his teammate in order to take some points away from Leclerc and Alonso. Meanwhile, the same is said to Perez:


"Don’t fight with Max. If on the last lap you two are together, we will change the positions again. Let Max go away at the end of the straghtline".


During the last laps, Verstappen does not talk anymore to the radio, while Lambiase asks him more than one time to let Checo pass:


"Max, if we don’t pass Fernando before Turn 12, let Checo pass please. Don’t worry about DRS Max, let Checo pass".


The again:


"Let Checo pass".


And last:


"Max, let Checo pass, please".


At the green flag, Russell has still the leadership, followed by Hamilton, Perez and Sainz, while Leclerc passes Bottas and goes fifth. Alonso overtakes Ocon taking the seventh position, as the French driver was told to not fight with his team mate at the restart, and right after the Spaniard goes for Bottas. Sainz takes the third position overtaking Perez, who shortly after is also passed by Leclerc. The Mexican now has behind his teammate who also overtakes him, but is being told to Perez that Verstappen will give him back the position back before the end of the race. Leclerc also asks for Sainz’ position but Ferrari deems the swap too risky, leaving the Spaniard in P3. Chequered flag, applause and screams from the bleachers, Mercedes’ box explodes with joy: George Russell wins his first Formula 1 race. Second comes Hamilton, with Mercedes’ first one-two finish of the season, then Sainz and Leclerc, Alonso, Verstappen, who has declined to give the position and finished ahead of Perez.


"I told you already, you guys, don’t ask that again to me - are we clear about that? I gave my reasons, and I stand by it".

The Dutchman said as he crossed the line. There will certainly be something to discuss at RedBull about what happened. There is a quick investigation for Sainz, who sided with Perez during the Safety Car regime, but the FIA decides not to intervene. So Sainz is officially third. In eighth there is Ocon, who has made it past Bottas in the final stages of the race. With the Finn ninth, follows Lance Stroll in tenth. Team mate Vettel has done a great race but didn’t manage to take some points. Zhou Guanyu finishes 12th, while Mick Schumacher is 13th for Haas. With a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, Gasly ends up 14th for AlphaTauri. Albon, after struggling with his starting set of hard tires, finishes 15th ahead of his teammate Nicholas Latifi who takes 16th. Yuki Tsunoda ends up 17th with Norris, Magnussen and Ricciardo out. So at the end of the race, the battles are still open: Leclerc and Perez are in fact at equal points and Mercedes has made a further step towards Scuderia Ferrari. Everything will be decided on the final round in Abu Dhabi. George Russell wins the first career Grand Prix at the age of 24 years, 8 months and 29 days, in the 81st race in Formula 1, the 19th youngest driver to triumph in the category, the 103rd different in the world championship and the 20th British national, in his first success with Mercedes, in the 22nd race with the German manufacturer, confirming the victory he achieved in the Sprint. Russell is the fifth different winner of the season after Leclerc, Verstappen, Pérez and Sainz Jr., triumphant at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace at the same circuit where he made his debut in an official session during the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix with the former stable named Force India during the first free practice session, and ends a streak of three consecutive Verstappen successes since the Japanese Grand Prix, where the Dutchman won his second drivers' title in a row. For Mercedes, it is the first success in the season, the one hundred and twenty-fifth in total, for the first time since the first edition of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with Hamilton, the third different manufacturer to win in the season after Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, and the fifty-ninth one-two in the World Championship.


For the Brackley-based team, it is the sixth overall win in a Grand Prix contested Brazil, equaling the victories of Williams, confirming it as the winner for the second consecutive edition of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix after success in the first and inaugural 2021, also with Hamilton. It is the first one-two in more than two years for Mercedes since the first edition of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, where Hamilton triumphed ahead of Bottas, as well as the first one-two in a race with two British drivers since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix, where Hamilton always won with McLaren ahead of Jenson Button. Mercedes ends a streak of nine wins in a row prerogative of Red Bull Racing, a record for the Austrian stable that began in the French Grand Prix, and for the 11th consecutive season the German manufacturer wins at least one Grand Prix in a season, after 15 podium finishes in the season. Hamilton finished second for the third consecutive race and for the fifth time during the championship, without having yet scored a victory in the season, on his Grand Prix day number 309 in his career, surpassing German Michael Schumacher with 308 entries and equaling compatriot Button's fourth overall in the history of the category, behind Brazilian Rubens Barrichello with 326, Finn Kimi Räikkönen with 353 and Alpine Spaniard Fernando Alonso with 357. Sainz Jr., third, scored his ninth podium finish of the year. For the Spaniard, it was properly the first podium finish since the one he inherited in the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix after a penalty given to Hamilton. Leclerc finished fourth, now second in the drivers' championship with 290 points, the same as Pérez, in the fight for second in the drivers' standings with one race to go. The Mexican, seventh at the finish, and third when there were nine laps to go in the race, was overtaken by teammate Verstappen, sixth, in the final stages of the Grand Prix, which cost him second place in the overall standings to the Monegasque, after Pérez finished ahead of him in the Sprint. For Verstappen, sixth position was his worst result at the Brazilian circuit since his debut with Red Bull Racing in the 2016 championship. Alonso finished fifth and equaled the best result of the season for the third time in the championship after starting 17th, while Ocon, eighth, finished in this position for the second race in a row after Mexico City, and for the second consecutive edition of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix after the inaugural one in 2021.

Alpine scores points with both cars in two of the last four races. Bottas, ninth, gets points for the second race in a row after not winning any in the previous 10 races, while Stroll finishes 10th for the sixth time this season. Both McLarens are retired for the first time since the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, Button's last race in the category. Magnussen, after getting his first career pole position, is retired on the first lap after a collision with Ricciardo. For the Danish Haas driver, the two retirements during the first lap occurred in collisions with a McLaren and Ricciardo, respectively, in 2017 and this championship. Verstappen leads the drivers' standings by the highest margin ever over his second and third-placed teammate Pérez and Leclerc, who are both 139 points apart. It is also the widest gap ever recorded in the history of the world championship when there is one Grand Prix to go. The Dutchman updates the record for the most points scored in a single season, 429. Leclerc and Pérez face the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round of the championship, paired on 290 points in the fight for second place. For the second consecutive edition of the race a podium position is decided in the last race after Verstappen and Hamilton, fighting for the title, had the same 369.5 points before the final act the previous year. For the first time in world championship history, the British anthem God Save the King is played for a winning driver or constructor, in this case driver Russell. It was previously performed as God Save the Queen before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom last September. During the race, five times are cancelled by the stewards to drivers for not respecting the track limits. They see their times cancelled three times by Lance Stroll (all times at Turn 4), once by Lewis Hamilton (at Turn 4) and Sebastian Vettel (at Turn 4). For Williams it was another frustrating and difficult weekend, as Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, explains. The team struggled for pace during all race, not even helped by the choice of compounds and Safety Cars:


“Another difficult day and we struggled for pace throughout the race. With the early safety car, we were able to switch Alex to an effective 2-stop race using only Medium tyres. With the 2nd safety car coming shortly after Alex had made his final stop, most of the tyre advantage we were accruing for the final stint was lost. At the restart Alex suffered with a loss of power, which took us a couple of laps to recover and he was unable to make any further progress. Nicholas ran a short stint on the Hard compound, but this was a poor tyre today and, coupled with a slow pit-stop, dropped him off the back of the pack. The 2nd safety car gave him a chance to recover and to race Alex over the final laps, but it was otherwise a frustrating day".


Alex Albon was the only driver in the grid to start with the hard compound, a choice that unfortunately turned against him. As the Thai driver explains, even the exit of the safety cars did not help his race:


“Our race was okay, but we got unlucky with the safety car, with everyone in front of us getting a free pitstop, ultimately compromising our whole race. We did a good job and in terms of the race, I was happy how I was driving, and it looked like we were optimising the race. I do think we may have made an error with our start tyre as everyone else was on the softs and mediums, but the safety car gave us an opportunity to immediately swap to a 2-stop Medium race. It's unfortunate but we'll look forward to the next and last race of the season".


Nicholas Latifi admits that he has felt the car better today, but unfortunately the pace was still lacking. Unlike his teammate the safety has helped him in the final stint:


“The car was better today in the race. We had damage yesterday on the floor, which we repaired overnight and so the car was feeling better today. I had a big flat spot on the first lap which affected the first stint pace. It was then unfortunate we had a slow pitstop and struggled on race pace from there. The safety car gave us a little bit of hope at the end, but I wasn't able to catch up to the pack".

Lance Stroll’s race has been a good one, the Canadian managed to get a points even though he struggled with tires at the beginning:


"There was a lot going on in the race, but we were able to take some chances towards the end. We did not have much pace with the Medium tyre earlier on in the race but the balance on the Soft was much better. It is a nice feeling to score a point after a challenging weekend as a whole but it is a shame that Alfa Romeo pulled a little bit further away from us in the Constructors' Championship today. It will be tough, but we will try and overhaul them in Abu Dhabi next weekend".


Sebastian Vettel's race was not the best, after a good start he lost several positions following the first pit stop and struggled with mediums after the second Safety Car. In his opinion, there couldn’t have been done more today:


"I made a decent start but lost a couple of positions at the first pit-stop and that started to reshape my afternoon. I had decent pace, but the timing of the second Safety Car did not go in my favour because I was on Mediums while a lot of cars around me were on Softs for the restart. It feels like we should have scored more points today - but, given how things played out, I do not think we could have done much more than we did. That is racing sometimes. We will go again in Abu Dhabi next week".


Despite the point gained by Stroll, Vettel's race was compromised by the timing of the SCs, so Mike Krack, Team Principal of Aston Martin, explains that it was not really the ideal race for the team:


"This was a thrilling race on a fantastic racetrack in front of a terrific crowd - but, despite running in the top 10 for the entire afternoon and coming home with a valuable World Championship point, things did not really work out for us today. Sebastian raced hard on a two-stop strategy, running as high as third, but the timings of the Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car really played against him today. From 15th, Lance made another customary blistering start and was able to run on the edge of the top 10, ultimately scoring a point. I want to thank both drivers' teamwork today - Lance helped Sebastian to gain ground after his second stop; then Sebastian moved aside to let Lance challenge Valtteri [Bottas] for ninth place. We come away encouraged by our pace and will go again one final time in Abu Dhabi next weekend".


Pierre Gasly shows his happiness with today's performance but also his frustration as after giving as much as he could he failed to get back into the top 10 and gain some points:


"I gave everything I could today and I'm happy with my performance, it's just frustrating not to be able to fight for points. I had a strong start and was able to get up to P9, we were quite competitive on the Softs, but then on the Mediums we struggled. I fought as hard as I could, but we just did not have the pace and there wasn't much we could do this afternoon. We've got one last opportunity to score points in Abu Dhabi and hopefully finish the season in eighth. It'll be my last race for the team so it'll be an emotional one and I hope we can finish our journey together on a high".


Yuki Tsunoda started from the pit lane for some changes to his single-seater that have partly made the car better although not entirely comfortable, still lacking of pace:


"After the changes ahead of the race the car felt slightly better, but I still wasn't that comfortable in it, and we didn't have the pace today. Normally, you're able to unlap yourself under the Safety Car, but today I was told to stay in my position, so we ended the day a whole lap behind the pack, with no opportunity to make my way forward. It's been a difficult weekend, so we need to go away and investigate why we've struggled so much ahead of the final race in Abu Dhabi next week".

For the team it was generally a difficult Sunday, explains Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer of AlphaTauri. Tsunoda struggled throughout the weekend to find the right feeling with the car and Gasly on his side has had a good start but the degradation of the tires did not benefit him and forced the team to go for a three stop strategy, which still did not allow him to enter the top 10:


"It was a difficult afternoon for the team. Yuki struggled for the majority of the weekend to extract competitive lap times from the car, so we took the difficult decision to change the setup and start from the pitlane. Although the changes did give him a better feeling, it wasn't enough to allow him to move forward and challenge for points. For reasons that we still need to clarify he couldn't unlap himself, so not only was he a lap down but he got the blue flags from everyone and therefore this put pay to any chances he had to overtake some cars at the end, to finish only 17th. Pierre was holding his own at the start of the race, but with that pace our tyre degradation was high, and we had to convert to a three-stop strategy. Even with the extra stops, and fitting the new tyres, we didn't have enough pace to get inside the top 10, although we crossed the line within 3.3 seconds of P10. The five second penalty for speeding in the pits dropped us further down, rounding off what has been one of the more challenging races of this season. In any case, we will regroup before Abu Dhabi, push hard and do all we can as a team to score points in the final race".


George Russell is sparkling with joy. First win in F1 for the British driver who thanks the team, his family and friends for the support they’ve always shown towards him:


"What an amazing feeling. A huge thank you to the whole team for making this possible. It's been an emotional rollercoaster, this season, this race. I felt in control, Lewis was super-fast and then when I saw the safety car, I thought this is going to be a difficult end. He put me under so much pressure. But I'm so happy to come away with the victory. On the in-lap, all of these memories came flooding back, starting off with my Mum and Dad in go Karting, going through and all the support I've had from the rest of my family, my girlfriend, my trainer, my manager. The likes of Gwen, who first gave me the opportunity to get on the programme with Mercedes, and James Vowles and Toto. I can't thank everyone enough".


 Lewis Hamilton congratulates his teammate and the whole team on today’s excellent result:


"I have to say huge congratulations to George, what an amazing drive he did today, he did an amazing job yesterday in the Sprint so he truly deserves it. To my Team, I'm so proud of everyone back at the factory and here. This is an incredible result - we've worked so hard through this year to get a 1-2, and to get a win. This is hugely, hugely deserved for everybody, so a big thank you to you all".


 From a challenging start to a one-two finish, Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes‘ trackside engineering director is very pleased with today’s result, pointing out the hard work done in the factory and on track and saying this is a motivation booster for next year:


"One nice thing about having a year without wins is you remind yourself just how special they are and just how good they feel. What a result; huge congratulations to George who drove a perfect race - he looked so comfortable at the front and this will no doubt be first of many. Also a fantastic recovery for Lewis, we thought he'd have been out of the picture after the collision with Max but he put in a brilliant drive to get back to P2. The team back in Brackley and Brixworth have done an amazing job to make this possible, we had no idea we'd be able to achieve this given where we were at the start of the year but today, we're glad it's just a long season as we'd not have wanted to miss this result. The engineers and drivers clearly did a good job getting the car in the right place with just a single session on Friday, we were using the tyres well and great to see that the pace was strong. We're looking forward to the last round in Abu Dhabi; it's been a tough season for the entire team, but it's given us even more motivation for 2023 to make sure we can hit the ground running".

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal of Alfa Romeo, is very satisfied with today's race. Both drivers managed to get a good result, the car showed to be in a good form:


"The team did a really good job today and we were able to turn the weekend around and leave with a good result. Both yesterday and today we have shown good pace and made up a lot of ground and we can be satisfied to leave Brazil with an increased gap over our closest rivals. We had a good start and were able to run as high as fifth during the race: it’s a shame the late Safety Car nullified our advantage and put us within range of other cars, but we still brought home the points we wanted. Most importantly, it was yet another event in which we showed good form, as we did in Mexico, so we can approach the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi with confidence: we can be in the mix for points once again and hopefully clinch sixth place in the championship".


Very pleased with his performance today is Valtteri Bottas, saying he enjoyed the good fights today and the team work with his teammate Zhou.:


"I’m happy about today’s race and we’re happy as a team. Everyone did a really good job - to go from 14th on the grid to ninth at the flag definitely classes as a good result. We could have been even higher, but the Safety Car at the end didn’t really play in our favour: it cancelled the advantage we had on the cars behind us, and it left us exposed. Still, we scored more than our direct rivals so we can’t complain too much. I did enjoy myself today, I was in some good fights and the car’s pace was strong. I also want to give big thanks to Zhou for being a true team player today. We have been in good form in the last few events, we have one more to go to get the job done but we approach it with confidence".


Zhou Guanyu’s race has been a little difficult due to trouble with drink system and then turbo issues. The Safety Car also made it challenging, but the Chinese says it’s good to see that the team managed to bring home some more points:


"Overall, we can be quite happy about the weekend, especially when you look at how we started, compared to where we finished. Our focus was to maximise the team’s potential, and I’m confident we’ve managed that. Still, today has been a bit difficult on my part: I got my drink system straw stuck in my helmet at the beginning of the race, before managing to remove it, but, later on, we suffered from some turbo issues, something we will have to investigate ahead of next week. We pitted early, aiming to undercut other drivers, but then towards the end, the Safety Car made it quite difficult for us to keep up, especially because we didn’t have many tyres left. Nevertheless, it’s good to see that the team managed to bring home some more points to give us a good position for the constructors’ championship ahead of the final race".


Kevin Magnussen race ended after only a few laps for a contact with Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren, obviously disappointed about that:


"I think our car has had great pace all week, but it is what it is. Daniel (Ricciardo) didn’t do it on purpose which isn’t any help to us but we move on. We’re not always up where we have been this weekend so it’s a shame that we weren’t able to capitalize on that fully today as we had great pace".


Mick Schumacher struggled a lot with medium tires, but recover with soft. Feeling a little frustrated, the German driver says that this year didn't go as expected:


"That medium tire didn’t seem to work for us and we struggled a lot. Once we got onto the softs I was a lot more comfortable and felt a lot more competitive as well. We maybe extended the first stint a bit too much, but you never know how long the softs will last, so overall it was alright. Sometimes it’s your year and sometimes it’s not and I guess this year hasn’t been mine. We still have one more to go and we’ll give it our best".

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas, doesn't have much to say, unfortunately no points for the team who is looking forward to the Abu Dhabi to gain some last points:


"Unfortunately no points for us today. Kevin’s race finished on Lap 1 when he was hit by Ricciardo and there was no way to get back out on the track, the car was destroyed. Mick battled fiercely in the race, but he just couldn’t make up the positions he was behind. We now head to the Abu Dhabi where we will give it our all like we have done all season long".


Esteban Ocon is really happy with today’s results, saying that team work with Alonso helped a lot and feeling ready to push until the end of last race:


"It's a great result for the team today and I'm very happy with our race. We maximised the different strategies on both cars and scored fourteen points heading into the last race of the season. It was a good recovery drive from Fernando and me after starting from where we did, so credit to the team for the execution. We knew we had to be at our best after yesterday's disappointment and that's exactly what we did in the race. The season is not over and we still have one more race to go. It's going to be full push until the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi".


Fernando Alonso is also satisfied with today’s race. The car felt competitive and the strategy was on point for both cars:


"It was a very good race for us today here in São Paulo. The car was very competitive and with our race strategy we were out of sync with most of the cars. Then, at the end, during the Safety Car period, I had newer tyres and we pushed as close to the front as we could; I overtook Sergio [Perez] and then I tried to look at Charles [Leclerc] but they were a step too fast for overtaking. I made a mistake yesterday when Esteban and I made contact, so today we wanted to do our best and race hard for the team. We needed these points heading to Abu Dhabi. There is one more race with the team to go and my heart is in the racing".


Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine‘s Team Principal, congratulates with the team after extending their lead in the Constructors' Championship. After yesterday contact, both drivers did an amazing team work. The team is focused trying to give their best till the end:


"If yesterday was a low point in our season, today is certainly up there as a high. Congratulations to the entire team - both factories at Viry and Enstone - everyone trackside, and the drivers for a fantastic Sunday effort where we've scored 14 points and, importantly, extended our lead in fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. The race was well executed with both drivers showing very strong race pace, which allowed them to close in on the top ten. We had Esteban on a two-stop strategy where he utilised the pace on the Soft tyre at the start with Fernando on a three-stop with his aim to attack at the end of the race on his new set of Softs. It worked out well with Esteban very comfortable inside the top 10 and Fernando benefitting from the VSC and SC in the closing stages to impressively overtake a number of cars on his way to fifth place. The championship is not over yet until the chequered flag drops in Abu Dhabi. We will remain focused, do our normal preparation next weekend, and give it our best to have both cars finish the season as strongly as possible. We're nearly home...".


Lando Norris race started on high but did not ended well. For the British driver was surely a disappoint Sunday, after the contact with Leclerc, he was still on pace but then stopped on track ending his race:


"My start today was good, but it was a disappointing Sunday for us. Regarding the contact with Charles, I thought it was a racing incident. Of course, I didn't want contact, and I held my line as much as possible. Maybe I could have given him 5cm more and he could have given me 5cm more but it's just a shame what happened. For the rest of the race, we were off the pace. I'd like to believe there was a little bit of damage because we were too slow today. I'm not sure why we stopped, the team will investigate. I've not been very well this weekend, but I've had a lot of support from the team, and we're now focusing on finishing strongly in Abu Dhabi".

Daniel Ricciardo race ended quickly due to the contact with Magnussen, saying that the biggest disappointment was that such a small touch had massive consequences:


"Firstly, I'm disappointed as it's always difficult when your race is over so quickly. I touched the back of Kevin and it's a shame. I think the biggest disappointment is that it was such a small touch, but it had massive consequences. I didn't expect him to spin, I guess that was just the angle that we touched and it just unloaded his rear. I feel most times, a small touch like that, you can get away with it. So it was pretty unfortunate for both of us. It was an eventful race, so, it's a shame not to have been out there. Apologies to the team here and back at home but we will reset and go one more time in Abu Dhabi".


Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s Team Principal, is frustrated since none of the cars were able to see the chequered flag. However, thanks the team for the hard work, ready to analyze and understand how to do better in the last race of the season:


"That's not what we had in mind when coming to the track this morning. We have to acknowledge that we didn't manage to put it together today as a team. The primary objective is always to see the chequered flag on Sunday, which we didn't manage with either car today. We lost Daniel in the first lap with the incident with Kevin, and we lost ground with Lando with a five second penalty after the incident with Charles. We struggled with pace then lost power and were forced to stop on track with Lando. At the same time, our competitors for P4 in the championship scored a big result. Thanks to the entire team here at the track and back home, HPP, and Daniel and Lando for the hard work again. We will reset, analyse and learn what we can do better next week and give it our all once more in Abu Dhabi".


Max Verstappen says he felt no pace today. After the incident with Hamilton, the direction gave him a 5 seconds penalty which didn’t affect his race too much. Regarding the swap position with Perez, he says it has already been discussed internally in the team and makes it clear that if the Mexican will need help in Abu Dhabi to do his duty:


"We had no pace again today, similar to yesterday - we were sliding too much and we had bad degradation so it was hard to attack. I didn’t quite understand the five second penalty for the incident with Lewis, but it didn’t affect the race too much as we already lacked pace. We’ve discussed internally as a Team the matter between Checo and myself and have moved on as a Team. If he needs the help and there is a chance to help him in Abu Dhabi, then I will be there, and I will of course support him. We’re fighting for first and second in the Drivers’ Championship, so we’ll work hard to achieve that".


Sergio Perez is not happy with today's performance, he has found the car slow both on mediums and softs and hopes to return competitive in Abu Dhabi. Regarding what happened with Max Verstappen, the Mexican is certainly disappointed but also points out that everything has already been resolved in the team:


"I am a bit surprised by our performance today. We were very slow on the medium tyre and also on the soft. I was competitive, but as soon as we switched, I couldn’t defend. I lost more positions due to the safety car and without that I think I could have finished third or fourth. We were definitely down on pace this weekend so I really hope we can go back to our usual form next weekend in Abu Dhabi. I am obviously disappointed with what happened today between Max and myself. It is something we have discussed internally, we will move on and keep working together as a Team. I am sure if I need support in Abu Dhabi, it will be different, and going forward we will always put the Team first".


Christian Horner says it’s the first time the team leave a weekend with this sort of disappointment, saying that the cause of the problems was the lack of pace.  Regarding Verstappen and Perez, remarks that everything has already been discussed internally:


"We haven’t often left a Grand Prix weekend this season feeling disappointed. Coming away from Brazil with P6 and P7 is far from the standards we have set for ourselves this season. The main issue for us was our pace. George drove very well all weekend and the various updates Mercedes have been bringing throughout the year has seen them get quicker and quicker. We need to understand why we gave away performance this weekend and will come out firing on all cylinders in Abu Dhabi. Regarding Max and Checo, we have discussed the matter internally and we go into Abu Dhabi as a Team to do the very best that we can to help Checo achieve second place in the Championship. Max is supportive of that. Ultimately, we work as a Team and race as a Team. It is that ethos that has seen us gain such great success this season and will continue to drive us forward".

Carlos Sainz is satisfied with how the weekend went in general, focus, pace and speed were there. He then congratulates Russell on his first win:


"The team fought well for this result. We had a strong weekend and a solid race despite the penalty and some setbacks today, namely the issue with the tear-off that meant I had to pit earlier than planned and we had to rethink our strategy. We managed to stay focused, picked up the pace again and were fast during the entire race. We reacted to every challenge today and the boys did great pitstops. We brought home the best possible result for the team and we look forward to racing again in Abu Dhabi for the last time this season. Congratulations to George on his maiden win. He’s had a good weekend and he deserves it".


On the contrary, for Charles Leclerc today's race was not very easy, after the contact with Norris he had to go up the grid but the pace and the feeling with the car were good so he managed to recover well securing fourth place:


"It was a tough race today, the incident shortly after the start dropped me all the way to the back of the field. The pace and the feeling in the car were good and I’m satisfied with my performance and the recovery I made to finish P4. It’s going to be a tight battle with Checo (Perez) and I look forward to racing in Abu Dhabi where I’ll give it my all for one last time this season". 


Mattia Binotto, Ferrari’s Team Principal & Managing Director Ferrari, says that the race was certainly undermined by Charles' incident and the problem with visor in Carlos' brake . But thanks to an aggressive strategy and a great job from the whole team, they managed to finish third and fourth:


"Our race immediately got much harder right from the early stages because of Charles’ incident and, in Carlos’ case because a visor tear-off got stuck in a brake cooling duct on his car, which meant he had to make his first pit stop earlier than planned, while the mechanics dealt with the problem. From then on, it was a case of attacking all the time and, thanks to an aggressive strategy and a great job from the whole team, we managed to finish third and fourth, picking up plenty of championship points that could prove vital going into the final round in Abu Dhabi. Now we are concentrating on ensuring we are as well prepared as possible for this decisive last race. My congratulations to George Russell on his first win".


Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, is amazed how Interlagos always manages to put on a great show. After analyzing the compounds and their performance, Isola congratulates to Mercedes e Russell. 


"A truly emotional race. It's wonderful to see how Interlagos always puts on a unique show for the fans. As expected, it was the variables that made the difference today, with accidents, two safety cars, and temperatures dropping by more than 10 degrees - which compelled drivers to adapt their driving styles according to the compounds they were using, mixing up the cards for every strategy. On top of the performance of all the different choices, it was really interesting to see how the setup of each car influenced the performance and degradation of the P Zero Red soft and P Zero Yellow medium compounds. The soft allowed for stints of more than 25 laps with manageable degradation, even with heavy cars at the start of the race, while the medium seemed to perform better towards the end, owing to track evolution with more rubber being gradually laid onto the surface. Congratulations to Mercedes and especially to George Russell for his first grand prix win, made all the more unforgettable thanks to this fantastic crowd here in Brazil".


Now, all eyes are on Abu Shabi, where the last Grand Prix of the season will take place: how will end the fight for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship?


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