Lewis Hamilton dominates qualifying in Brazil, however, he suffered a fresh set back to his title charge. The current seven-time World Champion took a new internal combustion engine (ICE) incurring a five-place grid penalty on Sunday. Another huge blow to Hamilton, who was quickest man on track in FP1, he trails Max Verstappen in the championship by 19 points after Mexico.
Lewis Hamilton Dominates
Once again, Lewis Hamilton delivered an important message to those writing him off this season. He finished fastest qualifier in Brazil, starting from first on the grid for the sprint race. He may be 19 points behind, but with his experience, he always has a chance!
George Russell Defeated
For the first time this season, Nicholas Latifi got the better of teammate George Russell in ‘conventional’ qualifying. The Canadian finished the session one place above the young Brit.
Lewis Hamilton topped the Q1 timesheets, looking in imperious form. The Brit picked up from where he left off in FP1, with no one able to catch him. Almost sixth tenths separated the championship protagonists in the opening session.
There was certainly no Friday feeling for Nikita Mazepin, Mick Schumacher, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll. All five couldn’t make it out of Q1.
Mercedes Send Red Bull Message
Max Verstappen responded emphatically at the start of Q2. Lewis Hamilton looked impressive again, but saw a lap time deleted. Regardless of that, Verstappen was able to go quicker, so even if the lap time stood, he would have been second.
There will be a huge sigh of relief for Mercedes fans in Q2 as Hamilton’s second lap was enough to jump Verstappen for top spot again. On a final run, he managed to go four tenths quicker than Verstappen, with Valtteri Bottas snatching P2.
Yuki Tsunoda couldn’t make it four Q3 appearances in a row. The Japanese driver was joined by Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon who were all eliminated in the session.
Lewis Hamilton Continues to Dominate
Q3 got off to a tense start for the title challengers, Lewis Hamilton went quickest yet again, but this time Verstappen was second, ahead of Bottas.
The top three stayed that way at the end of the second run, with Max Verstappen answerless to Hamilton’s blistering pace.
It certainly sets up an exciting Sprint Qualifying tomorrow, with Hamilton and Verstappen set to go wheel-to-wheel once again. Mercedes will be disappointed not to get a front row lockout, with maximum points vital for both championships. Toto Wolff and his team will be desperate for the full five points from the sprint.
How the Top Qualifiers Reacted
Lewis Hamilton ecstatic with qualifying fastest: “Today was a really good qualifying session. I’m super happy with it. I don’t know what tomorrow will hold. I feel really grateful, it’s crazy because it’s been a while so it feels like the first.”
Max Verstappen not worried by Hamilton’s pace: “When they take a new engine naturally they have a bit more power for the weekend, so for me it’s not a big shock. I’m just happy to be second.”
Valtteri Bottas felt he should have done better: “I’m not fully satisfied. Still a good starting place [for tomorrow]. All to play for. And hopefully Lap 1 will be full of action.”
🏁 Q3 CLASSIFICATION 🏁
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 12, 2021
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