Magnussen and Russell record their first pole and win in the same weekend, Norris loses his 100% points-scoring appearance rate at Interlagos and God Save The King plays on the podium for the first time. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend.
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
With sixth place at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Max Verstappen maintained his 100% points-scoring record at Interlagos – and with Lando Norris retiring, Verstappen is now one of only four drivers to have scored points on every Interlagos appearance. Didier Pironi, Gunnar Nilsson and Jackie Stewart are the only other drivers in that group.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
On Friday, Sergio Perez qualified in ninth place – the first time he has qualified outside of the top five since the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix. He moved up to fifth place in the Sprint. Perez went on to finish the race in seventh place, recording his first non top six result since his retirement from the Austrian Grand Prix. It was the first time Perez finished outside of the top six in a race in which he has reached the chequered flag since his ninth place at the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton qualified only eighth on Friday at Interlagos – his worst qualifying result in a traditional qualifying since setting the ninth fastest time in qualifying at the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, where there was also a Sprint race. Hamilton improved to third in the Sprint and started on the front row as a result of a grid penalty for Carlos Sainz. Hamilton became the first driver to start from the front row on seven occasions at the Interlagos circuit.
For the third race in a row, Lewis Hamilton finished as runner-up, securing Mercedes’ first 1-2 result in over two years and the first 1-2 result for British drivers since the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix. Hamilton led five laps of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, making it the eighth consecutive Interlagos race in which he has led a lap.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell became a Grand Prix winner at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, recording the first victory of his F1 career. Russell is the fourth driver to have taken his maiden Grand Prix victory at Interlagos, after Carlos Pace in 1975, Rene Arnoux in 1980 and Giancarlo Fisichella in 2003. Prior to the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Russell had never previously scored at Interlagos.
With this being the first time a British driver has won since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix was the first time that God Save The King was played on the Formula 1 podium. Russell became the 20th British driver to win a round of the World Championship.
On his way to victory, Russell set the fastest lap of the race. This is the third consecutive Grand Prix in which Russell set the fastest lap, making it the 33rd occasion that a driver has taken three fastest laps in a row. Russell’s fastest lap marked the 100th time that Mercedes have set the fastest lap in a Grand Prix. They are the fourth team to reach the milestone.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
At the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc became the ninth driver to start 80 races with Ferrari, equalling Michele Alboreto’s total number of starts with the Italian team. Taking tenth place in Friday qualifying, Leclerc recorded his worst qualifying result since the Canadian Grand Prix, where he qualified 15th. Leclerc finished Sunday’s race in fourth place, recording his best-ever Interlagos result.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
With third place, Carlos Sainz returned to the podium for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix. This was Sainz’s 15th podium finish in total, equalling the career tallies of Jose-Frolian Gonzalez and Thierry Boutsen. Interlagos becomes the second circuit, after Monaco, at which Sainz has taken multiple top three finishes.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
The 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix marked the 700th Grand Prix which an Australian driver started. Australia is the sixth nation to reach this milestone. Daniel Ricciardo failed to reach Q3 for the fifth consecutive race, making this his longest streak without a Q3 appearance since failing to reach Q3 for 18 races between the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix and the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix. Ricciardo was out on Lap 1 in the Grand Prix, making this the second consecutive Interlagos race from which he retired.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris celebrated his 23rd birthday on the day of the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix – but it wasn’t a birthday to remember. He became the second driver who has failed to finish when racing on his 23rd birthday, after Jacky Ickx at the 1968 South African Grand Prix.
On Friday, Norris qualified in the top four for the fourth time this season; the first time he has done so since the Hungarian Grand Prix. His Sunday retirement ended a six race scoring streak and a 15 race finishing streak for the British driver. This was the first time Norris failed to pick up points at Interlagos. Norris recorded the first retirement for the driver starting eighth at Interlagos since 2006.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso made his 19th appearance at Interlagos, equalling Rubens Barrichello as the driver to have made the most race starts at the circuit. In the race, Alonso crossed the Interlagos finish line for the 17th time, equalling Michael Schumacher as the driver to have reached the end of a race at the circuit on the most occasions.
Alonso came home in fifth place, recording his first top five finish since the Belgian Grand Prix. He made up 12 positions during the race; the most positions he has gained during a Grand Prix since the 2018 Austrian Grand Prix, where he also made up 12 places. This was Alonso’s best Interlagos result since he finished on the final step of the podium at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon reached Q3 at Interlagos for the first time in his career. However, after contact with his team-mate, he lost positions in the Sprint and started only 18th. This was the third time Ocon has started 18th or lower at Interlagos. He made up places in the race though and finished eighth for the second consecutive race weekend. He also finished eighth at last year’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly was eliminated in Q2, failing to reach Q3 in Brazil for the first time since 2017. He finished the race in 14th place, failing to score at Interlagos for the first time since 2018.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
With both Yuki Tsunoda and team-mate Pierre Gasly outside of the points, this was the first time since 2018 that the Red Bull junior team failed to score in Brazil.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
With 13th place, Sebastian Vettel qualified outside of the top ten at Interlagos for only the second time since the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix, where he qualified 16th. However, he made up positions in the Sprint, making this the 12th consecutive Interlagos race at which he has started in the top ten
For the second year in a row, Vettel narrowly missed out on points in Sao Paulo. This was the second Interlagos race in a row in which he finished 11th. Vettel became the sixth driver to have completed 1,000 Grand Prix laps at Interlagos. He did so one lap after Lewis Hamilton became the fifth driver to reach the same milestone.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
For the first time in his career, Lance Stroll progressed to Q2 at Interlagos. Stroll picked up a point with a tenth place finish. This was his seventh points-scoring appearance of the 2022 season and the sixth time that he has finished tenth. This was the first time Stroll has ever scored a point at Interlagos.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
Alex Albon became the first Williams driver to reach Q2 at Interlagos since Sergey Sirotkin in 2018.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi qualified in 16th place, marking the first time he did not qualify last since also qualifying 16th at the Italian Grand Prix. Latifi also finished 16th in the Grand Prix, making this the fifth consecutive visit in which a Williams driver has finished 16th at Interlagos.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas recorded his first Q1 elimination at Interlagos. His previous worst qualifying position at the circuit was 13th place in 2013. Finishing the race in ninth place, Bottas scored for a second consecutive Grand Prix. This is the first time the Finn has scored at two races in a row since scoring at all five races between the Australian and Monaco Grands Prix.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu finished in 12th place, equalling his best result since he last scored points. This was the third time in his career that Zhou has reached the chequered flag at four consecutive races.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
He failed to pick up points, but Mick Schumacher enjoyed a more successful time on his second visit to Interlagos. He qualified seven positions further up the grid than in 2021 and finished 13th, compared to 18th in the previous season.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
On his 100th race weekend with the Haas team, Kevin Magnussen secured the first pole position of his Formula 1 career. He became the 106th different driver to take pole position at a round of the World Championship. This was the first time Magnussen qualified inside the top three. His previous best qualifying result was fourth place, which he recorded at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, the 2014 German Grand Prix and the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Magnussen’s pole made Denmark the 24th different nation to have had a polesitter. Denmark becomes one of only four to have taken a single pole, after Poland (Robert Kubica, 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix), Venezuela (Pastor Maldonado, 2012 Spanish Grand Prix) and Mexico (Sergio Perez, 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix).
Magnussen took pole position on his 142nd attempt. Only two drivers have taken more attempts to record their first pole and, incidentally, both have done so in 2022: Sergio Perez (216) and Carlos Sainz (151). Magnussen is the fourth driver to take their maiden pole position during the 2022 season, after Perez, Sainz and George Russell. 2022 is the first season since 1979 in which four different drivers have taken their maiden pole positions.
Magnussen was unable to keep the lead in the Sprint and started in eighth place. Nevertheless, Magnussen is one of only five drivers to have scored in all three sprint races in 2022, the others being the two Ferrari drivers and the two Red Bull drivers.
Sunday’s race was less successful as Magnussen recorded only the second first lap retirement of his career. The only other time he has been out on Lap 1 was at Interlagos in 2017. Magnussen joins David Coulthard as only the second driver to record multiple first lap retirements at Interlagos.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.