Brazilian Grand Prix: Qualifying Recap

Event:  Qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix (Round 19 of 20)

Date:  Saturday, Nov. 11

Location:  Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo

Layout:  4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn circuit

Weather:  Cloudy with slight, intermittent drizzle  

Air Temps:  17.2-18.8 degrees Celsius (63-65.8 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps:  25.7-29 degrees Celsius (78.3-84.2 degrees Fahrenheit)

Pole Winner:  Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:08.322 – new track record)

Result:  Romain Grosjean qualified 12th / Kevin Magnussen qualified 14th

Note:  Due to a 10-place grid penalty incurred by fifth-place qualifier Daniel Ricciardo, Grosjean will start 11th and Magnussen will start 13th.

●  Lasts 18 minutes, with all 20 drivers participating

●  Fastest 15 drivers advance to Q2

Grosjean:  9th quick (1:10.148), advanced to Q2

Magnussen:  14th quick (1:10.521), advanced to Q2

Fastest Driver:  Kimi Räikkönen of Scuderia Ferrari (1:09.405)

Cutoff:  15th-quick Brendon Hartley of Toro Rosso (1:10.625)

●  Lasts 15 minutes, featuring the 15 fastest drivers from Q1

●  Fastest 10 drivers advance to Q3

Grosjean:  12th quick (1:09.879)

Magnussen:  14th quick (1:10.521)

Fastest Driver:  Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:08.494)

Cutoff:  10th-quick Carlos Sainz Jr., of Renault (1:09.768)

●  Lasts 12 minutes, featuring the 10 fastest drivers from Q2, all battling for the pole

Pole Winner:  Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:08.322)

Second:  Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:08.360)

Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen qualified 12th and 14th, respectively, for the Brazilian Grand Prix Sunday at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo. It was the fifth time this season both drivers advanced to the second round of knockout qualifying. And because of a 10-place grid penalty incurred by fifth-place qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, Grosjean will start 11th and Magnussen will start 13th.

Grosjean set the ninth-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:10.148 around the 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn circuit. Magnussen was 14th quickest with a lap of 1:10.521. Only the top-15 drivers advance to Q2.

In Q2, Grosjean earned the 12th-fastest time with a lap of 1:09.879 and Magnussen secured the 14th-fastest mark with a lap of 1:10.154. Only the top-10 drivers from Q2 move on to Q3.

Both Magnussen and Grosjean ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire throughout qualifying.

Taking the pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. His fast lap of 1:08.322 was .038 of a second better than runner-up Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari and it set a new all-time fastest lap at Interlagos. It was Bottas’ third career Formula One pole – all of which have come this season – and his first at Interlagos.

Before Grosjean, Magnussen and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track.

Magnussen made 19 laps and set the 13th-fastest time with a 1:10.721 on his 16th lap. Grosjean tallied 20 laps and earned his best time on his final tour – a 1:10.762 that put him 15th overall.

Magnussen made two installation laps on the White medium tire before switching to the Red supersoft for the remainder of the session. Grosjean sampled all three of the Pirelli compounds, with installation laps on White mediums followed by nine laps on Yellow softs and a final, nine-lap run on Red supersofts.

Quickest in FP3 was Bottas, whose fast lap of 1:09.281 was just .003 of a second better than his teammate and next quickest challenger, Lewis Hamilton.

“We tried really hard to go for it from Q2. It’s a good recovery from yesterday and from previous races. We’ve made some good steps this weekend and I’m happy with that. Last year here we had a good qualifying and this year’s is pretty decent for us. I guess the grid is going to be shuffled a little bit more with all the penalties. It’s a long race and track temperature will be over 50 degrees, so cars are going to be working in a different way. We’ll definitely see what we can do. Sixth in the constructors championship is still there and we’re eager to get it.”

“I think Romain got the most out of the car today. He did a good job with the car we have this weekend. I did less of a good job in qualifying. When the car is like it is – unstable in the rear – Romain is just very strong. I struggle a bit more with that. I’m not too unhappy with the result today because the car hasn’t been to my driving style this weekend. We’ll see what happens in the race. The race pace didn’t look any worse than our qualifying pace, so with some luck tomorrow, we could be up for some more points. That’s what we’re aiming for.” 

“After yesterday’s performance I think everybody – the engineers, the mechanics – did a good job to get the cars together again and improve them. The drivers drove a good qualifying. I’m very pleased with what’s happened between yesterday and today and with our result in qualifying. Tomorrow we are again in a good position to score points, and for sure we will try.”