Magnussen masters timing at Interlagos to claim sensational maiden pole position in wet-dry Friday qualifying


 Although Q1 began on a damp track, slicks were soon fitted and it was Lando Norris who led the opening session, before Max Verstappen took over in a dry Q2. The top-10 shootout was a different story.

With two minutes of Q3 completed, Kevin Magnussen was top of the timesheets, and it was then that George Russell locked up and beached his Mercedes at Turn 5, bringing out a red flag to leave the Dane incredulous. A short stoppage later, and the rain began to fall: Magnussen’s time would stand, and he would have his first Formula 1 pole position.

Verstappen finished second, 0.203s off the pace, while Russell took third for the Sprint. Norris ended up fourth for McLaren, while Carlos Sainz – who has a five-place penalty for Sunday – rounded out the top five.

As drivers gradually clambered out of their cockpits, ponchos unfurled, the clock ticking down, one thing was clear: Magnussen would have his first career pole position. He was shaking his head, laughing, in the cockpit of his VF-22, as ecstatic crowds drew forward to applaud the Dane – who in turn was embraced with all the might of Team Principal Guenther Steiner once he'd finally clambered out of the car.

Verstappen had to settle for second, 0.203s off the pace, while Russell ended up third before his Turn 5 off, the Briton 0.385s off Magnussen’s benchmark. Norris qualified fourth and Sainz – who has a five-place penalty for Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix – rounded out the top five.

Then it was the Alpines, Ocon in sixth and Alonso seventh, while Hamilton took eighth – the seven-time champion treating the fans to a final intermediate-shod run at the end of Q3. Perez managed ninth in Q3, while an angry Leclerc rounded out the top 10.

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