Sprint Qualifying at São Paulo GP: Bottas takes pole

Sprint qualifying

Mercedes drivers put up a stellar drive on the Saturday’s Sprint qualifying. With Valtteri Bottas clinching his second pole position from a sprint weekend. Lewis Hamilton went up to 5th from the last spot on the grid due to the disqualification handed to him previously.

Who got the points?

The track temperature was cool which saw some teams going for mediums and some gambling for softs. The results were mixed. For the likes of Sainz and Bottas, the soft tyres worked. On the other hand, Hamilton overtook 15 drivers on mediums.

Though Verstappen had a better start, his Red Bull was behind Mercedes’ Bottas before Turn 1. He was facing some synchronisation problem with his gear, “Stupid **** gear sync problem all the time.”, he complained on the radio.

This made Carlos Sainz, who had a great start picking up 2 places, get ahead of Max at Turn 4 on Lap 1. On Lap 4 however, Max was back driving at P2.

The trio remained at that position till the end – Bottas followed by Max and Sainz. And as per the sprint format, they gained 3, 2 and 1 points respectively. 

Sprinting through: Hamilton

The talk of the sprint qualifying was Lewis Hamilton. After getting disqualified for DRS infringement, the title contender started from P20. He moved up four places before reaching the first turn.

The loss of his pole position did not hinder the seven-time world champion to get an amazing P5. He found the perfect technique to get past drivers on almost every lap.

 The only driver that made it a bit tough for him was McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo who is known for his great defence skills and late braking, once again blocked the Briton for some time with the help of DRS.

After passing Daniel on Lap 13 at Turn 1, Hamilton repeated the same feat. On Lap 15, 16 and 17, he overtook Vettel, Ocon and Gasly – all of them on Turn 1. He caught up to the other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and made the move on Turn 4. 

His final lunge came at the final lap. He overtook Lando Norris at Turn 1 – not something the birthday boy would’ve wanted. However, that move was amazing, pushing up that Mercedes to P5.

Hamilton’s starting position

In spite of getting a great run, Lewis Hamilton is subjected to a five-place grid penalty. Due to that engine change, he’ll start the Sunday’s race from P10. This means few drivers will be promoted one place ahead.

In the 2016 Russian GP, Hamilton has charged through the field from P10 to P2. It’ll be interesting to see where he passes the chequered flag this time. And that too on the Interlagos circuit – a thrilling Sunday with lots of overtakes!

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  1. Pingback: FP1 at Qatar Grand Prix: Max goes fastest - Championship Sports Media

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