Senior Sports Journalist
McLaren’s Lando Norris hits straight back after the disappointment of Friday night in Brazil for his first pole for an F1 Sprint; watch Saturday evening’s 24-lap Sprint at 6.30pm, with build-up from 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports F1
Last Updated: 04/11/23 3:24pm
Lando Norris made up for some of the disappointment of Friday evening’s qualifying in Brazil by hitting straight back to beat Max Verstappen to pole for Saturday evening’s Sprint at the Sao Paulo GP.
Having ended the opening day of track action in Brazil “gutted” to be only sixth on the grid for Sunday’s main Grand Prix, Norris delivered on the pace he and McLaren had threatened on Friday in the Sprint Shootout.
It was Norris’ first pole for the short-form race but resurgent McLaren’s second in the last three Sprint weekends.
Verstappen, who has pole for Sunday, finished 0.061s behind Norris with his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez respectably close behind in third despite only having used soft tyres available for his final run.
George Russell edged out Lewis Hamilton to be the lead Mercedes on the grid in fourth.
In the session’s most dramatic moment, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon collided with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso at the end of the opening knockout segment, SQ1, and crashed into the barriers.
Ocon, starting a fast lap, came up quickly behind Alonso, on a cool-down lap, exiting the Senna S and the two came together after the Alpine went over the kerb and slid into the Aston Martin. Over team radio, Ocon though blamed his former team-mate for not leaving him enough room.
“The more I see it the more I think the majority of the incident was Esteban losing control of the car and having to scoop it up,” said Sky F1’s Martin Brundle.
“He will say it was because Alonso’s car was ‘parked in the middle of the road’. Then I think there were some contributing circumstances from Fernando there: slow, didn’t really move that far right, and was sort of giving a bit of left-had lock. But he was going around a left-hand corner.
“I’ll be surprised if anything more comes from that other than an unfortunate incident.”
With Ocon’s car out of the session on the spot, Alonso was unable to take up his place in SQ2 due to damage sustained in the collision.
More to follow…
When to watch the Sao Paulo GP live only on Sky Sports F1
Saturday November 4
- 5.30pm: Sprint build-up
- 6.30pm: SAO PAULO SPRINT
- 8pm: Ted’s Sprint Notebook
Sunday November 5
- 3.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Sao Paulo GP build-up
- 5pm: THE SAO PAULO GRAND PRIX
- 7pm: Chequered Flag: Sao Paulo GP reaction
- 8pm: Ted’s Notebook
F1 is in Brazil for the final leg of the Americas triple header and the last Sprint weekend of the 2023 season. Watch every session from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s race at 5pm. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW