Norris edges Red Bulls to Brazil sprint pole after Ocon-Alonso clash

Lando Norris made amends for a frustrating qualifying at the F1 Sao Paulo Grand Prix by taking pole position for Saturday’s sprint race in Brazil.
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60. Formula
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL60. Formula

The McLaren driver, who only qualified seventh for Sunday’s grand prix after failing to capitalise on his car’s obvious pace, made no mistake on Saturday by claiming pole ahead of the Red Bull pair. 

Norris pipped Max Verstappen by 0.061s, while Sergio Perez improved on a disappointing Friday qualifying to take third, just 0.134s off Norris’ benchmark.  

"A great day," Norris said. "Honestly, it felt like one of the worst laps I’ve done, so I’m a little bit surprised, but it’s a good surprise.

"I feel like we’ve made up for yesterday. My first pole in a long time, so I’m happy."

Behind the battle for pole, George Russell outpaced Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to grab a spot on the second row on the grid in fourth. 

Yuki Tsunoda was an impressive sixth, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and AlphaTauri teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who took eighth. 

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was only ninth, ahead of Oscar Piastri, who could not match the pace of his McLaren teammate as he rounded out the top-10. 

Former Alpine teammates Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso dramatically came to blows in SQ1, causing a heavy crash for Ocon, who called the Aston Martin driver an “idiot” over team radio. 

The incident resulted in a red flag stoppage while barrier repair works were carried out down at Turn 3, which delayed the start of SQ2. 

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