Max Verstappen continues to do what Max Verstappen does: win, with both a sprint win and pole position so far in Brazil for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
On Friday, Verstappen set the fastest time in qualifying for the main race tomorrow morning Australian time in a mixed conditions session that saw several surprises throughout the field.
Then in the sprint race this morning, he overcame starting second on the grid behind the McLaren of Lando Norris to claim yet another sprint victory in his dominant 2023 season.
Norris finished second in the sprint race ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, who claimed his first podium of any variety since the Italian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes of George Russell, the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the impressive Yuki Tsunoda for AlphaTauri were fourth, fifth and sixth, ahead of the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr.
Aussies Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri had an entertaining battle for ninth, with Ricciardo just pipping the McLaren driver.
Verstappen was buoyed by the pace in the sprint session ahead of the race tomorrow, in which it seemed he was lucky to get pole with the fast-changing conditions in Q3.
Several drivers went out early to set their times ahead of the almost apocalyptic weather conditions that were on the horizon, with Verstappen pipping Leclerc to pole by three tenths.
Most impressive in main race qualifying was Lance Stroll, who lines up third on the grid, just ahead of his Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso. While neither driver was able to replicate that same form in the sprint qualifying or race, both showed pace in carving their way through the field and could both spring a surprise in the main race tomorrow.
(Photo by Grand Prix 247)
The two Mercedes of Hamilton and Russell will line up fifth and sixth, ahead of Norris, Sainz, Perez and Piastri. Ricciardo will start the race in 17th, one spot behind his teammate Tsunoda.
Brazil always delivers an exciting race and tomorrow should be no exception. The race starts at 4am (AEDT).
1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull 30:07.209 24 laps
2 Lando NORRIS McLaren +4.287
3 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +13.617
4 George RUSSELL Mercedes +25.879
5 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +28.560
6 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +29.210
7 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +34.726
8 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +35.106
9 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +35.303
10 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +38.219
11 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +39.061
12 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +39.478
13 Pierre GASLY Alpine +40.621
14 Esteban OCON Alpine +42.848
15 Alexander ALBON Williams +43.394
16 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +56.507
17 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +58.723
18 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +60.330
19 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +60.749
20 Logan SARGEANT Williams +60.945
1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing
2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari
3 Lance STROLL Aston Martin
4 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin
5 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
6 George RUSSELL Mercedes
7 Lando NORRIS McLaren
8 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari
9 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing
10 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren
11 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team
12 Esteban OCON Alpine
13 Pierre GASLY Alpine
14 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team
15 Alexander ALBON Williams
16 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri
17 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri
18 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo
19 Logan SARGEANT Williams
20 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo
This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here