Formula 1 2022: São Paulo GP

5 things we learned from Friday’s race at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix | Formula 1®

Brazil’s iconic Interlagos circuit has a history of delivering incredible moments in F1 history – and now there’s another to add to the record books after Kevin Magnussen claimed a maiden pole position in drizzly conditions for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. It was a remarkable end to a sensational day, on what is F1’s third and final Sprint weekend in 2022…

1. Haas delivers one of the all-time shock results

Magnussen’s incredible drive to pole will go down as one of Formula 1’s biggest shocks of all time, with Team USA putting the Dane on track at exactly the right time before watching him deliver the fastest laps. clear that significantly faster cars, such as Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes simply couldn’t compete as the rain started to fall.

It was a great reward for a team that has struggled to fight consistently for points this season and for a driver who returned to F1 with Haas as a late replacement for Nikita Mazepin after a year’s absence.

READ MORE: Magnussen masters timing at Interlagos to claim sensational first pole position in wet Friday qualifying

The F1 paddock was united in its congratulations and joy for one of motorsport’s underdogs, with Magnussen’s rivals lauding the Dane for getting the job done when it mattered in highly changeable conditions.

Converting pole to victory in the Sprint will be tough, but he has every chance of holding on to a top-eight finish to secure the points on Saturday – and that leaves everything to play for on Sunday, when the biggest points will be up for grabs. caught. Haas is only one step ahead of AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship – so every point counts.

READ MORE: Magnussen promises ‘maximum attack’ after claiming pole and securing top spot for Sao Paulo Sprint


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Magnussen took his first pole position and that of Haas on Friday

2. Ferrari is frustrated with the weather

Ferrari made the wrong call on the weather with Charles Leclerc as they sent him onto the intermediates – expecting rain to be imminent – with team-mate Carlos Sainz and everyone else bolting on the soft tyres.

There would have been enough time for a lap of dry tires when they asked him to box, but Leclerc had already started his next round – meaning he had to do another lap before boxing, and by that time- there the best conditions had disappeared.

READ MORE: ‘I’m extremely disappointed,’ says Leclerc after Q3 tire confusion at Interlagos

This is disappointing for the Italian team, who felt they had a car capable of fighting for pole position, even in slippery conditions, with the F1-75 being the fastest of all in the slowest corners. .

However, with rain forecast for the rest of the weekend – this should help limit the pain they are feeling on the straights (in early practice Ferrari were losing around 0.3 seconds to Red Bull in the final sector, which is mostly 1.2 km full Throttle).


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3. Red Bull remains the one to beat

They may not be on pole, but Red Bull will be confident they can not only take the lead and win the Sprint, but also take the win on Sunday afternoon, with Max Verstappen starting second.

The Dutchman was very strong in Friday’s one-hour solo practice, although he was not completely happy with the balance, and would have taken pole if he had achieved his “ideal lap” – a combination of all its best mini-sectors. Verstappen will expect to make short work of Magnussen at the start – or at least on the opening lap.

READ MORE: ‘Super disappointed’ Perez says top three was on the cards after qualifying ninth for Sao Paulo Sprint

His team-mate Sergio Perez was less happy, the Mexican hesitating against a slow Leclerc and limited by his intermediate tires. That said, Red Bull’s pace around Interlagos is so good that with a Sprint race followed by a Grand Prix, a podium finish will be the minimum expectation.


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4. Mixed emotions for Mercedes

On the one hand, Mercedes may be happy with a top-three start given their performance so far this season – but in changing conditions that provide opportunity, they will know a much better day was possible.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were both compromised as they were among the drivers towards the back of the queue heading to the track for the first few races of Q3, meaning they got less of what s turned out to be the most favorable conditions.

READ MORE: Russell says ‘unpleasant experience’ and misjudged recovery led to his third trimester misdefinition

Russell still delivered a lap that was good enough for third place – but he was frustrated when he flew off into the gravel and then crashed when he did a 360 to try and get away.

Hamilton, who was running the lower downforce of the two Silver Arrows, struggled to hold on on the final runs and was only able to place eighth. Our data shows their qualifying pace was just 0.06s behind Red Bull, which means if they had come out at the right time and got the tire temperatures up, a shot on pole or at least in the front line would have been on the cards.


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5. Norris battles illness to keep McLaren in the fight

McLaren and Alpine have been locked in a fight for the P4 in the constructors’ championship throughout the season, with the latter leading the fight with two races to go. However, it was McLaren who started the Sprint with the upper hand.

READ MORE: ‘I think we did a perfect job,’ says Norris, after recovering from illness to field P4 for Sao Paulo Sprint

Lando Norris didn’t think he’d be fit enough to drive after suffering suspected food poisoning and missing Thursday’s media day – but the Briton delivered another powerful performance against the odds to snatch fourth place, with Alpine duo Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso sixth and seventh respectively.

As neither McLaren nor Alpine raced the softs in FP1, instead focusing on the midrange, it’s unclear which is the faster of the two. Our data suggests that McLaren has the advantage over Alpine on the slow and medium speed corners, with Alpine taking the high speed corners and pulling around two tenths of a second ahead on the straights.

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