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Formula 1 Brazilian GP

F1 Brazilian GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 & Qualifying

Friday's action from the 20th round of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Interlagos hosts the closing leg of the final triple header of the year, with just two races remaining of the 2023 season after the chequered flag falls. 

While Max Verstappen and Red Bull may have respectively wrapped up the titles, the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez for second in the drivers' standings is fierce. 

As is the fight at the bottom of the constructors' standings, with the margins separating Williams, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo and Haas closing at recent events. 

The sole practice session of the Brazilian GP weekend will start at 2:30pm GMT, followed by qualifying at 6:00pm GMT.

By: Sam Hall, Stefan Mackley, James Newbold, Haydn Cobb

Summary
  • Verstappen takes Brazilian GP pole from Leclerc as late rain shower cuts short Q3
  • Aston Martin lock out second row with Stroll third and Alonso fourth
  • Out in Q2: P11 Hulkenberg, P12 Ocon, P13 Gasly, P14 Magnussen, P15 Albon
  • Out in Q1: P16 Tsunoda, P17 Ricciardo, P18 Bottas, P19 Sargeant, P20 Zhou
  • Qualifying for Sunday's Brazilian GP delayed by track cleaning, started at 6:15pm GMT
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Stroll, Aston Martin
  4. Alonso, Aston Martin
  5. Hamilton, Mercedes
  6. Russell, Mercedes
  7. Norris, McLaren
  8. Sainz, Ferrari
  9. Perez, Red Bull
  10. Piastri, McLaren
Status: Stopped
Thank you as always for joining us today, and be sure to check in with us tomorrow as we bring you all the latest updates from sprint qualifying and the sprint race. Until then, goodbye from us!
As teams in Brazil batten down the hatches and are given permission to shut their garage doors amid the high winds and increasingly heavy rain, we'll close up shop on the live text for the evening too.
How would that session have played out if it ran in the dry? Well, we may have a better understanding tomorrow when we'll get to do it all again for the sprint qualifying.
When it rains in Brazil, it really does rain. Think of 1993 and Prost floating off the track and you're getting there.
Verstappen now moves above Nico Rosberg in the all-time pole stakes. He's on 31 for his career, putting him eighth in the all-time list. Next in his sights is Nigel Mansell on 32, and he could match Jim Clark and Alain Prost on 33 before the year is out. Astonishing.
That's the best grid position for Stroll this year. He last started inside the top 10 at Spa, and had previously managed a best grid position of fifth in Jeddah and Spain.
Hamilton is fifth ahead of Russell, while Norris can only muster P7 after heading Q2. He at least fares better than Sainz, while Perez is slowest of those to set a time after leaving the pits late. Piastri after his spin failed to set a time and will start 10th.
Aston Martin's decision to go to the end of the pitlane first is rewarded as Stroll takes third ahead of Alonso. What a turnaround for the green team after a difficult first two legs of this triple header.
It's P1 in qualifying then for Verstappen by 0.294s over Leclerc, ending the Ferrari driver's mini streak of poles.
As the rain does begin to arrive by the bucketload, the red flags come out and the session will not resume.
Leclerc tells his crew that he's never experienced a sensation like that in his career where he was convinced it was raining due to the lack of grip from the cloud cover, but no rain was falling. He calls it "super weird".
As the ponchos emerge in the grandstands, somehow I'm not sure that we'll see much more track action in qualifying.
"It's night!" exclaims Alonso as the cloud cover blots out visibility. Remarkable this.
Replays show the back end completely stepped out on Piastri as he negotiated the final proper corner. No chance of saving that one.
"Rain is getting heavier Lando, so be careful on the way back," Norris is told. His "yeah I know," response sounds so weary, he could be auditioning for a role in Up!
The Aussie does manage to get it back onto the road and returns to the pits without setting a time.
Leclerc slots into second but there's trouble for Piastri who is off at the final corner.
Stroll now moves to the summit on a 1m11.344, only for Verstappen to blow it into the weeds on a 1m10.727s.
A 1m11.387s is the opening gambit from Alonso. That's over a second off the Q2 pace.
Forecasters have of course been wrong before. Piastri and Perez as the last men out of the pits will hope the rain holds out just a little longer.
Last year Kevin Magnussen took pole by virtue of being first out of the pitlane and having the best track conditions in deteriorating weather. But it seems the first lap won't be quite so crucial today as Norris is informed rain will arrive in seven minutes time.
Alonso wins the race to the pit exit this time. He's joined in the queue by Stroll and the Mercedes duo as rain looks a tad ominous.
Norris has been going well today so far. Could he follow up his Q2 potential with a first pole since Sochi 2021?
The clouds are a little menacing, but we now have out 10 who will go for pole in Q3. They are Norris, Verstappen, Perez, Alonso, Sainz, Hamilton, Leclerc, Russell, Piastri and Stroll.
"I don't know what happened in Turn 2," reports the eliminated Gasly. "The car was bouncing a bit all over the place."
Hulkenberg will start Sunday's Grand Prix from 11th ahead of Ocon, Gasly and Magnussen - the Dane frustrated at being distracted by a Ferrari that caused him to run slightly wide at Turn 7. A laptime deletion for Albon running wide at Turn 4 means he'll start 15th.
Albon too is unable to progress, so we have our 10 locked in for Q3 as the checkered flag comes out.
Gasly does improve, but only enough to advance one position and dump last year's qualifying pacesetter Magnussen back to P14.
Magnussen and Ocon are also unable to improve and are condemned to elimination.
Hulkenberg improves, but it's not enough to force his way into the top