Mick Schumacher’s teammate Kevin Magussen sensationally took pole position for the sprint in a turbulent qualifying session in Brazil – Schumacher himself ended up in last place. Ironically, the highly acclaimed Haas duo frames the field when on Saturday (8:30 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for Formula 1 and at Sky) the short race starts.
In qualifying, which was affected by rain and a decisive accident, world champion Max Verstappen finished second in the Red Bull ahead of the Mercedes driver George Russell. The Englishman benefited from his own mishap: At the beginning of the third qualifying segment, the track was still quite dry, some drivers cautiously did their fast laps on slicks – and Magnussen from the backbench team Haas was the fastest.
However, Russell slipped into the gravel immediately after his good attempt, his car dug in and the session had to be interrupted for a few minutes. During this phase, heavier rain set in – and the best times could no longer be achieved after that. Schumacher, who has still not received a new contract with Haas, fell by the wayside in the turbulent first section. Sebastian Vettel suffered a similar fate in the second round, the former world champion in the Aston Martin only took 13th place.
On a wet track, Schumacher with intermediate tires was still one of the faster ones, but when the asphalt dried up, he couldn’t manage a sufficiently strong lap on slicks and was passed through. For Schumacher it is the next setback in the hope of a contract for 2023, Haas probably wants to comment next week. Schumacher’s competitor is veteran Nico Hulkenberg.
However, the starting list now only applies to the sprint, Vettel and Schumacher are likely to hope for a turbulent short race. After all, it’s supposed to rain on Saturday as well, so things can often get particularly chaotic on the track in Interlagos. The result of the sprint then determines the starting grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday (7:00 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for Formula 1as well as on RTL and Sky).