SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Sao Paulo Grand Prix: Lando Norris beats Max Verstappen to pole for sprint race

Esteban Ocon climbs out of his Alpine after he crashed into the barrier following a collision with Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso
Esteban Ocon climbs out of his Alpine after he crashed into the barrier following a collision with Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso

McLaren's Lando Norris beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen to pole position for Saturday's sprint race at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Norris' took his first Formula 1 pole by 0.061 seconds but was ruing not achieving his potential in qualifying for the grand prix on Friday.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez came third, despite having only used tyres for his lap.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were fourth and fifth.

Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda came sixth while Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, second on the grid behind Verstappen for the grand prix, could manage only seventh place, also restricted to used tyres.

He will line up ahead of Alpha Tauri's Daniel Ricciardo and the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. McLaren's Oscar Piastri was 10th. Both Sainz and Piastri were also on used tyres.

Norris said: "A great day. Honestly, it felt like one of the worst laps I've done so it's a little bit of surprise, but it's a good surprise. We made up for yesterday. My first pole in a long time, so I'm happy."

The Briton felt he had been fast enough on Friday to take pole but will start the grand prix sixth after failing to maximise his pace in tricky conditions as rain approached the track.

The sprint is a shorter race, about one-third of the distance of a grand prix. Norris has the chance to achieve his first F1 win if he can hold off Verstappen for 24 laps, with the race starting at 18:00 GMT.

There was a 25-minute delay in the middle of the session after a collision between Esteban Ocon's Alpine and Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin at the end of the first knockout session.

Alonso moved to the outside off the racing line through Turn Three as Ocon approached on a flying lap. The Frenchman lost the rear of his car and had what is known as a 'tank-slapper', when the car snaps from side to side as the driver fights for control.

This took the Alpine on a diagonal trajectory into Alonso's car and then the barriers. The incident also damaged the front right corner of Alonso's car and he trailed back to the pits in a shower of sparks.

Aston Martin were unable to repair Alonso's car in time for him to take part in the second session, so after taking fourth on the grid for the grand prix behind team-mate Lance Stroll on Friday, he will start the sprint 15th, one place ahead of Ocon.

The incident is being investigated by stewards in the gap between qualifying and the sprint race, along with others involving a number of drivers accused of not going fast enough on out laps. Norris is among them.

Across the BBC banner
Across the BBC banner
Across the BBC footer
Across the BBC footer