SAO PAULO, Brazil – Max Verstappen was brilliant Saturday at Autódromo José Carlos Pace, leading every round of qualifying to earn his second Formula One pole of the season.
Verstappen was in command throughout Saturday’s qualifying session and eventually earned the pole thanks to a fast lap of 1:07.508. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was second fastest, .123 seconds slower during the final qualifying session.
“I’m very happy with pole here today and the car and engine were performing really strongly together,” Verstappen said. “We made a few improvements overnight and even after FP3 we made some final touches to the car and it really came alive in qualifying. Straight away from Q1 the car was flying and even though Q3 was a little more tricky as the temperature increased the car still felt good. Going purple in the middle sector and to be on pole by over a tenth here is a strong performance for us and Honda. Normally we have a quick race car so hopefully that will be the same tomorrow and I really enjoy driving on this track. I’m expecting an exciting and hopefully an enjoyable race, so now we just have to finish it off tomorrow.”
Mercedes driver and reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will start third, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and the second Mercedes driven by Valtteri Bottas.
Red Bull’s Alexander Albon recovered from a crash on Friday to qualify sixth fastest, followed by Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, Haas’ Romain Grosjean, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
There were only two significant issues during qualifying. Antonio Giovinazzi spun during the second round of qualifying, resulting the round being cut short. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. failed to compete a lap in the first round after a loss of power and will start last.