Verstappen sets a new personal best for most pole positions in a year, Stroll qualifies in the top three for the first time in over three years and the Red Bull junior team records their first ever double Q1 exit at Interlagos. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN ON POLE AT THE 2023 SAO PAULO GRAND PRIX
Max Verstappen took the 31st pole position of his Formula 1 career at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
This was Verstappen’s 11th pole position of the season, setting a new personal best for most pole positions in a year, overtaking his tally from 2021. 2023 becomes the 13th season in which a driver has taken 11 or more pole positions.
Recording Red Bull’s fourth pole position at Interlagos, Verstappen became the 11th driver to have taken multiple pole positions at the track. Verstappen previously took pole at Interlagos in 2019.
IN THE TOP 10
Charles Leclerc qualified in second place for the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, recording his third consecutive front row qualification. It’s the first time he’s qualified on the front row at three races in a row since the 2022 Singapore, Japanese and United States Grands Prix.
This was the first time Leclerc qualified in the top three at Interlagos and the first time he has out-qualified his team-mate at the track.
While no Ferrari driver has taken pole position in Brazil since 2008, this is the fifth time in the last six Interlagos races that a Ferrari driver has qualified on the front row.
Lance Stroll ended his six-race run of consecutive Q1 exits at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix with his first Q3 appearance since the Belgian Grand Prix. Stroll qualified third, recording the third top three qualifying result of his career to date after the 2020 Hungarian and Turkish Grands Prix. He was also promoted to the front row of the grid at the 2017 Italian Grand Prix.
Stroll’s third place marked the first time the Canadian has reached Q3 at Interlagos – and the first time he has qualified inside the top 13 positions at the track.
Stroll out-qualified team-mate Fernando Alonso for the third time this season, after the Spanish and Austrian Grands Prix. This was the first time in his career that Stroll has out-qualified a team-mate in Brazil.
Alonso reached Q3 for the first time since the Qatar Grand Prix. He qualified fourth, just as he did in Qatar. 2023 is the first time since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix that Alonso has qualified in the top four at Interlagos.
This was only the second time in the Silverstone-based team’s history that both of the team’s cars reached Q3 at Interlagos. The 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix is the only other race at the track at which the team has achieved the feat.
Stroll’s third place marks the third time that a driver for the Silverstone-based team has qualified in the top three at Interlagos, after Rubens Barrichello , who qualified second for Jordan in 1996 and Adrian Sutil, who qualified third for Force India in 2009. This is the first time the team has recorded a double top four qualification at the venue.
Qualifying fifth, Lewis Hamilton made the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix the 14th time in 16 appearances at Interlagos that he has qualified in the top five positions.
With Hamilton fifth and George Russell sixth, this was the first time since 2012 that neither Mercedes driver qualified in the top three at Interlagos.
Sergio Perez could qualify no higher than ninth for the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. It means that in the last 15 races, his third place at the Belgian Grand Prix is the only time he has qualified inside the top four.
Perez is the first Red Bull driver to qualify outside of the top six at Interlagos since both drivers qualified outside the top six in 2015.
Qualifying tenth after going off track on his only attempt at a competitive lap in Q3, Oscar Piastri equalled the longest Q3 streak of his career to date. This was his fifth consecutive top ten qualification.
With Lando Norris seventh and Piastri tenth, this is the first time both McLaren drivers have qualified in the top ten at Interlagos since 2014.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc maintained their 100% Q3 appearance records at Interlagos, while Hamilton and Fernando Alonso extended their record of most Q3 appearances at the track to 14.
OUT IN Q2
With 11th place, Nico Hulkenberg recorded his best Interlagos qualifying result since setting the eighth fastest lap time at the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Both Haas drivers were out in Q2, marking only the third time in their seven visits to Interlagos that neither of the team’s cars have reached Q3.
Both Alpine drivers were eliminated in Q2 at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon out-qualified Pierre Gasly for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix.
This is the seventh time in the last nine races at Interlagos that neither of the Enstone-based team’s drivers have qualified in the top ten.
Gasly failed to reach Q3 at Interlagos for the first time since the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix. It’s also the first time since then that he has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the venue.
OUT IN Q1
With both Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo out in Q1 at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix, AlphaTauri recorded their first double Q1 elimination since the 2023 British Grand Prix. This was the Red Bull junior team’s first ever double Q1 exit in Brazil.
With 16th place, Tsunoda recorded his worst qualifying result since qualifying 17th at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Having qualified 15th in the last two years, Tsunoda recorded his worst Interlagos qualifying result to date.
Ricciardo recorded his first Q1 exit at Interlagos since his first appearance at the track for the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.
For the second year in a row, both Alfa Romeo drivers were out in Q1 at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. It’s the team’s worst qualifying result at Interlagos since the 2016 Brazilian Grand Prix, when neither driver qualified in the top 20.
Setting the 18th fastest lap time in Q1, Valtteri Bottas recorded his worst Interlagos qualifying result to date.
Zhou Guanyu qualified on the back row of the grid for the fourth time in the last six races. The 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix marks the fifth time that Zhou has qualified 20th in his Formula 1 career.
Bottas out-qualified his team-mate at Interlagos for the first time since the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix.
For the first time since the Qatar Grand Prix, Logan Sargeant did not qualify in last place at the 2023 Sao Paulo Grand Prix. He did, however, qualify on the back row for the fourth time in the last five races, setting the second slowest time in Q1.