- Brazil might have been without a driver on the Formula 1 grid since 2017, but the grandstands and the paddock are fuller than usual this year. Only one of the grandstands still has tickets available, and the Friday holiday meant even the practice sessions had a very good turnout.

- That also means that the paddock is full, and the drivers are having a hard time fighting the crowd. And while Charles Leclerc stops for every photo and autograph request, Lewis Hamilton is using even a different path to avoid the fans. And the Brazilians are not liking that attitude at all, as the six-time World Champion was booed when he used a back door after doing the pen interviews this Saturday.

- A few minutes before that, Daniel Ricciardo could only say “wow” while he watched qualifying because of how close the cars were around the short Interlagos track. And in the end, Max Verstappen was all smiles because he got pole “with more than a tenth - and that’s a lot around here.”

- Jokingly, second-place Sebastian Vettel even raised some questions about Red Bull’s straight-line speed, claiming that it was “suspicious” to see how fast they were compared to the Ferrari. He had a big smile on his face when he was saying that but, In fact, during free practice Ferrari’s advantage had gotten back to the eight-tenths we had seen in the previous races, but was reduced again in qualy, while the Red Bull worked really well, as they had done previously in the altitude both in Mexico and in Austria.

- Pierre Gasly was all smiles as he had the best qualifying of the year for Toro Rosso, qualifying P7. That will become a sixth on the grid after Charles Leclerc’s 10-place grid penalty. The Frenchman seems to be getting more and more confident with his “new” car and has been in Q3 for the past few races. But there will be an important difference this Sunday: this time the Softs are holding on and even the top teams chose to start the race with them, even though they had enough pace to try to go through Q2 with the Mediums.

- The only driver who did it was Leclerc, knowing he had the penalty. that will drop him to P14. On one hand, he left qualifying disappointed with himself because of his mistakes in the last part of the session. On the other, his very good lap on Q2, only 0.385s from Verstappen’s time with the softs with tyres that should be at least 0.5s faster, is a good sign for the race.

 

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