MADRID, Nov. 3 (.) –
The Spanish Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) dominated this Friday the first and only free practice session of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix (Brazil), the penultimate test of the calendar at the Interlagos circuit, leading the Italian team’s double. with the Monegasque Chales Leclerc and the British George Russell (Mercedes), completing the ‘podium’, while the Asturian Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), due to a puncture, finished eleventh.
As is usual on weekends with a ‘Sprint’ format, the first and only free practice session was somewhat misleading, with the teams refusing to show all their virtues before the decisive qualifying. In addition, the pilots encountered a very cloudy sky that threatened rain, and a temperature of 30 degrees.
The drivers of the Italian team were the only ones of the ‘big guys’ to try the soft tires, which catapulted them to the first places, although in the final stretch of the session. Sainz took first with five minutes remaining with a 1:11.732 and Leclerc followed him just over a tenth (1:11.840).
The other Spaniard, Fernando Alonso, who suffered a puncture, did not seek to set a competitive time, but rather to try new settings with the hard tires, in a behavior similar to that of Sunday’s race, without wearing out soft tires. More encouraging is the fourth best time of the session by Canadian Lance Stroll, who clocked a very competitive 1:12.136.
Champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who complained about the seat, could only be sixteenth and his teammate, Sergio Pérez, second to last. While the surprise was the fourth place of Nico Hülkenberg (Haas), clocking a 1:11.928, less than two tenths off the best time. The ‘top 10’ was closed by Alex Albon (Williams), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Pierre Gasly (Alpine), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Logan Sargeant (Williams) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas).