Brazil GP: Kevin Magnussen claims a shock pole in qualifying

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Kevin Magnussen will start the Sprint in pole position after a dramatic qualifying at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The Dane set the fastest time at the perfect time at the start of Q3 to score his and Haas' first pole in Formula 1 as rain and a red flag coincided to prevent anyone from dethroning him.

Max Verstappen starts second for Red Bull, ahead of George Russell in third, the man who caused the session-deciding stoppage.


Rain before the session meant a damp track for the start of qualifying, but a dry line quickly began to emerge during Q1.

Pierre Gasly was the first to take the gamble on slicks and soon began setting the fastest laps.

From that moment every lap counted as the times improved significantly and it was Lando Norris who ended fastest for McLaren.

Almost every driver spent time near the top and bottom of the timesheet but in the lottery, Nicholas Latifi was the unlucky man to just miss out in 16th.

One surprise was Alfa Romeo as Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas only ended 17th and 18th, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda in 19th.

Mick Schumacher was the slowest driver in P20, although Haas' day would soon get better.


The mixed weather returned for Q2 as occasional drizzle made judging track conditions very difficult.

At one stage, it appeared Mercedes would be in trouble as both drivers sat in the elimination zone when the first rain passed through.

However, a fresh set of tyres ensured their safe passage through to Q3 with Verstappen going fastest, just 0.009s ahead of Sainz.

Further down, a late improvement from Magnussen dropped Alex Albon out in 11th, with Gasly 12th.

The two Aston Martin's were knocked out with Sebastian Vettel 13th and Lance Stroll 15th, either side of Daniel Ricciardo in 14th for McLaren.


With more rain coming, the remaining 10 drivers headed straight out on slicks, with the exception of Charles Leclerc on intermediates, much to the Monegasque's surprise.

Indeed, it proved to be the wrong decision as he failed to set a lap time before a red flag was caused by Russell going off into the gravel at Turn 4.

Of those on slicks, Magnussen went fastest for Haas as conditions worsened and the pole was guaranteed when the weather deteriorated during the stoppage.

Verstappen was second for Red Bull, with Russell third despite his incident. Norris was one of the top performers in qualifying and claimed fourth ahead of Sainz.

Esteban Ocon led Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso in sixth and seventh, followed by Lewis Hamilton in eighth and Sergio Perez in ninth.

Leclerc rounded out the top 10 following Ferrari's tyre mix-up.

Full results from qualifying can be seen below: