SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 03: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 03, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311031497 // Usage for editorial use only // | Getty Images
Max Verstappen (Red Bull photo)

Verstappen Grabs Pole In Sao Paulo

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Max Verstappen won the pole for Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix during a rain-shortened qualifying session on Friday at Interlagos.

Verstappen turned a best lap of 11).727 to take the top spot ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

Rain stopped qualifying only minutes into the third session.

“We didn’t know when it would hit in qualifying but we thought it would hit,” Verstappen said. “This is of course insane weather.

“Charles and I were just discussing — our laps felt terrible. The winds changed and felt very strong. We lost a lot of lap time because of it. It felt quite hectic, the last lap.”

Leclerc as surprised to qualify second.

“To be honest, in my whole career I’ve never experienced something like that,” he said. “From turn four there was no rain, but the car was extremely difficult to drive, no grip.

“I was thinking about just coming in at the end of my lap, but then I finished and P2. It was a big surprise.”

Lance Stroll was third for Aston Martin, with his teammate, Fernando Alonso, taking fourth.

Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five for Mercedes.