Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Hamilton takes on Verstappen

Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: Lewis Hamilton sets early qualifying pace ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as looks to claim pole position ahead of the sprint race – with the Brit set to be handed a FIVE-PLACE grid penalty for GP

  • ELIMINATED FROM Q1: Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, George Russell, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin 
  • Lewis Hamilton was fastest in first practice for the Brazilian GP at Interlagos
  • But due to an engine penalty he has a five-place grid drop for Sunday’s race
  • Brit trails title rival Max Verstappen by 19 points in the world championship 
  • Max Verstappen sealed a crucial victory last time out at the Mexican Grand Prix 
  • Latest Formula One news, including live action and results 

Lewis Hamilton will be going all out for pole position in qualifying ahead of the sprint race to determine the grid for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Brit heads into the weekend on the back foot in his title battle with Max Verstappen as he trails the Red Bull star by 19 points in the world championship.

But the Brit also faces a five-place grid drop ahead of Sunday’s race, having had to change an engine component. 

Follow Sportsmail’s DAN RIPLEY for live qualifying coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix, including build-up, updates and result.  

Host commentator

No early birds this time. No cars on track yet…

That is perhaps not a true reflection of Verstappen’s pace, but Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the half-second deficit to Hamilton could still be difficult to make up.

ELIMINATED FROM Q1: Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, George Russell, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin

Well, clear – he is up to third behind Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclcerc is last… but that’s because his P2 lap time was deleted for breaching track limits at turn four. Joining him in the bottom five are George Russell, Mick Schumacher, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nikita Mazepin. Nicholas Latifi is the man on the bubble.

And I mean way fastest! Hamilton (below) goes over half-a-second quicker than Verstappen, as well as his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

That’s Lewis into Q2 then…

Or rather Max Verstappen does. He set’s a 1:09.329 to go quickest, two tenths quicker than McLaren’s Landon Norris as well as the Dutchman’s team-mate Perez. Hamilton and Mercedes still to come…

They clearly think rain is a threat so they have gone out on used soft tyres to set a banker lap, just in case it does.

Perez’s car does look to be ready by the way – with the issue down to parts having only just arrived at the circuit following last week’s race at Mexico!

Clouds loom over the circuit, and it is rather windy, yet it is set to stay dry as qualifying for the sprint race begins with Ferrari leading the way.

Not that teams reveal their full hand in FP1, but encouraging signs for the seven-time world champion after he and Mercedes were blown away by Red Bull in Mexico last time out.

I still don’t understand why track limits are not in place throughout the entire lap, but turn four – at the back end of the first straight – will ben especially monitored in this session.

And that’s not a good sign for the team. Most garages should be calm at this stage but there are around 12 mechanics trying to fix or change something on Sergio Perez’s car ahead of the start of qualifying in just over 10 minutes.

Lewis Hamilton is handed a FIVE-PLACE grid penalty at the Brazilian Grand Prix after Mercedes decide to change his engine again in major blow to champion’s hopes of chasing down leader Max Verstappen

Bad news already for Lewis Hamilton who faces a five-place grid penalty. That won’t effect him in his placing for the sprint race though and only kicks in on Sunday.

And technically we have two this weekend, with a sprint event tomorrow ahead of the main grand prix of course.

As always though, first of all we have qualifying and that’s where Friday night comes in as I welcome you to our live coverage for the battle for pole position in the sprint race.

Source: Read Full Article