Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Qualifying ReacpNovember 3, 2023
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen qualified 11th and 14th respectively for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Round 21 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
The opening day of track running began with Free Practice 1 – the only practice session of the Sprint weekend. After a baseline stint on the Pirelli P Zero White hard tire, both cars proceeded to complete their run plans on Red softs. Hulkenberg clocked a 1:11.928 to land P4 at the checkered with Magnussen setting a 1:12.592 to secure P10 on the timesheets.
Qualifying was delayed by 15 minutes in order to sweep the track after the previous session. With the threat of rain rated at 60 percent and dark clouds looming overhead, cars were queuing to leave the pit lane once the session turned green. Both VF-23s successfully navigated their way through Q1 using two sets of the soft compound, Hulkenberg posting a 1:10.475 to reach P4, and Magnussen recording a 1:10.602 to advance in P8.
Q2 saw Magnussen’s fastest lap time, a 1:10.723, come on his first timed run, after traffic denied the Dane any chance to improve his chances on a second set of new tires, finishing the session P14. Hulkenberg’s Q2 opener was a 1:10.623, which he bettered on his second set of soft rubber – a 1:10.547 – classifying the German P11 for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
Up front Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing scored pole position for Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, after the session was red flagged and stopped due to torrential rain covering the circuit. Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc finished second, ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in third.
Saturday’s schedule begins with the Sprint Shootout determining the grid for the Sprint later the same day.
“It went well. We had good pace on that second run in Q2, but I got traffic from one of the Ferraris which is unfortunate. Having said that, I don’t know if I would’ve been fast enough for Q3, but at least I would’ve put in a better lap. Overall, I’m happy and we’ll try again tomorrow to see what we can do.”
“Being honest, the morning was difficult to read because a lot of people didn’t run the soft compound, so it wasn’t the real picture. I think before this weekend if you had told me we’d get P11, I would’ve taken it. It was a clean session, with clean laps, and there was nothing left to give.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“It hasn’t been a bad day for the team today. Finishing 11th and 14th in qualifying is the most I think we can do at the moment, but it’s put us in a good position for Sunday. Hopefully, with a little bit of luck we can score points. Unfortunately, we had to change Nico’s engine after FP1, but it seems to be working and the team in the garage did a great job to get it done very quickly so we were ready for qualifying.”
Event: Qualifying for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix – Friday November
Location: Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Layout: 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn circuit
Weather: Cloudy (FP1) / Mixed (Qualifying)
Air Temps: 29.7 degrees Celsius (85.5 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
Team Result: Nico Hulkenberg qualified 11th, Kevin Magnussen qualified 14th
Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:
Hulkenberg: 4th overall (1:11.928), 19 laps completed
Magnussen: 10th overall (1:12.592), 24 laps completed
Fastest: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari (1:11.732)
Q1 Qualifying: 18-mins with all 20 Drivers – Top 15 Advance to Q2
Hulkenberg: 4th overall (1:10.475) – Advanced to Q2
Magnussen: 8th overall (1:10.602) – Advanced to Q2
Fastest: George Russell of Mercedes (1:10.340)
Q2 Qualifying: 15-mins – Top 10 Advance to Q3
Hulkenberg: 11th overall (1:10.547)
Magnussen: 14th overall (1:10.723)
Fastest: Lando Norris of McLaren (1:10.021)
Q3 Qualifying: 12-mins – Top 10 Drivers
Pole Winner: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:10.727)