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Sao Paulo GP: Qualifying team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
11/11/2022

Kevin Magnussen will start from pole position in tomorrow's F1 Sprint. The Haas driver set the fastest time in Friday's qualifying session on the soft compound, setting a 1m11.674s, ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and George Russel in the lead Mercedes by 0.203s. All the drivers finished on new C4s, with the exception of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez who attempted a final lap, after the red flag, on intermediates.

Particularly unstable weather conditions set the tone for the last sprint qualifying of the season. The drivers went out in Q1 with Cinturato Green intermediates due to rain that had fallen before the start of the session, then moved on to the soft even before the end of Q1. Leclerc was the only one to start Q3 on the intermediate compound, counting on the rain which did not arrive immediately. The other drivers opted for dry tyres; Magnussen managed to set the best time immediately before a red flag and the subsequent failure to improve times, due to rain making the track wetter than earlier in the session.

The best times in the first Free Practice session were scored by the drivers on soft tyres. Sergio Perez was the fastest aboard his Red Bull with a 1m11.853s, ahead of Leclerc's Ferrari (+0.004s) and teammate Max Verstappen. Most teams began the session on the hard compound, as the session was held with partially cloudy skies overhead.

The Pirelli Pole Position Award was presented to Kevin Magnussen by Felipe Massa. The Brazilian driver, born in Sao Paulo, is still engaged in competitive activity in the Stock Car Brasil championship. Massa, after a storied F1 career that included stints with Sauber, Ferrari and Williams and lasted almost 15 years, scored 11 victories. In 2008 it was here in Interlagos that Massa came achingly close to scoring a world championship title in a dramatic final. Facing off against Lewis Hamilton, Massa crossed the finish line for first, only to be beaten to the title by a last-lap overtake by Hamilton. Massa, currently one of the most influential ambassadors of Formula 1, also boasts the status of the last Brazilian driver to win a Grand Prix around Interlagos. It's the first-ever pole position for both Kevin Magnussen and his Haas team.

Simone Berra, Pirelli F1 Chief Engineer: "It was a complicated qualifying today at Interlagos, as the drivers had to become familiar with track conditions very different from those experienced earlier in the day during FP1.

"In fact, in free practice we had already recorded a high rate of track evolution; the asphalt temperature was above 40C in FP1 but dropped by around 20 degrees in qualifying when the drivers had to tackle a wet track. The chosen compounds worked well in the different conditions encountered today: even on a cold track, the soft tyre showed good performance, with better times than in FP1 despite the less optimal conditions.

"Although the free practice data is preliminary and must be confirmed tomorrow, it seems that all three compounds can play an important part in different race strategies."

Check out our Friday gallery from Interlagos here.

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