Photos from the first practice in Brazil: Sergio Pérez is the fastest.
Roger BenoitFormula 1 expert
The riders had exactly 60 minutes to prepare for Saturday’s hot qualifying on the starting grid of the sprint race (TV live from 20:30 CET). It was just about collecting bullets. With three different rubber compounds.
Everyone turned 24 rounds
So action-packed that world champion Max Verstappen started with a short ride in the Red Bull Honda – only to set a first finish time of 1:13.646 on the 4.309km climb and descent between the lakes (Interlagos). This was followed by Bottas in an Alfa-Sauber and world runner-up Pérez in the second bull car. They stayed under 1-14 after 30 minutes, with three-time Interlagos winner Hamilton the only one to stay under 1-14.
A new blow for Ferrari: Carlos Sainz, sixth in the world championship, plagued by bankruptcies, bad luck and breakdowns all year, needs a fifth engine. In Sunday’s penultimate race (TV live from 19:00 CET) he must drop five starting positions.
Only two sprint winners!
This starting line-up then results from the result of the sprint race. Whoever drops first in this third 100km show in 2022 (after Imola and Spielberg) must start from the back.
Incidentally, only two drivers have won the previous five sprint races in the 2021/22 season: Verstappen (3) and Bottas (2). This season, by the way, the Finn was able to score valuable two points in the World Championship with seventh place in Imola.
Because the people from Hinwil lead the battle for sixth place against Aston Martin-Mercedes by just 53:49. Can the “Greens” still make the necessary overtaking maneuver? Dropout Vettel: “We can do it!”
Smooth before the race!
Frenchman Pierre Gasly (26) in Alpha Tauri-Honda must be very careful until the final on November 20 in Abu Dhabi. Because he already has ten penalty points in the calendar year. Another stupid thing (or whatever you want to call it) then Gasly gets banned for one race.
“The system is unfair,” Gasly complained at the last drivers’ meeting – and received little support from his colleagues. And the often out-of-control GP winner (Monza 2020) will also have to be careful in Alpine in 2023. The first two points will not be removed until May 22. Six races left until then…
Alpha Tauri hunting «Hasen-Duo»
Now Gasly has to try with team-mate Tsunoda (he already has eight penalty points) to move Alpha Tauri from second to last in the World Championship. Red Bull’s B-team trails Haas-Ferrari 35:36.
And the “hares” Magnussen and Schumi, who have only two points in nine races, are fighting back. It’s a team duel that no one thought was possible before the season.
Who will catch Schumi?
The latest rumors are clear: Mick Schumacher (23) will probably be released from the American team next week after two years. And he was replaced by compatriot Nico Hulkenberg (35). Schumi, who has long since left Ferrari, is said to be a candidate for the post of substitute pilot at Mercedes and Alpine (Blick reported).
Daniel Ricciardo (33), who was fired by McLaren, is also trying to stay in Formula 1. He can choose between Mercedes and Red Bull-Honda.
Alfa-Sauber has been warned
Back to training. After half an hour, Pérez took the lead – 0.008 ahead of teammate Verstappen. Behind her, Schumi was squeezed between two Ferraris. Then practically everyone put on the red rubber (soft) for the final sprint.
Upgraded to three races with updates (front wing, underbody), the C42 now mostly keeps Bottas and Zhou in the midfield. Can this pair pull off a small surprise in the sprint qualifying today at 20:00 CET (live TV)? But beware, the “green” Vettel greets you from seventh place in the first practice session.