Max will start the Sao Paulo Grand Prix from second place after extending his championship lead in the Sprint at Interlagos.
After Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from qualifying, Max started from first place for the 24-lap Sprint on Saturday afternoon, with Sergio third and Pierre fourth. The two Red Bull Racing cars were on mediums tyres, while Scuderia AlphaTauri went for softs as Yuki lined up in 12th place.
At the start, the soft tyres on the Mercedes helped Valtteri Bottas to take the lead, with Max dropping behind Carlos Sainz into third place on the opening lap, one spot ahead of Sergio. It was also a tough start for Pierre, who slipped back to seventh.
All four cars lost a bit of ground as Yuki dropped back to 14th and was soon fighting with Hamilton, while Max regained second position on lap two. While the two AlphaTauris then looked after their tyres, Max could set off after Bottas while Sergio put pressure on Sainz.
As the laps ticked down, Max closed to within DRS range of Bottas but was unable to find a way past and had to settle for second place, securing a front-row start on Sunday. The two points that came with that result also saw his lead in the drivers’ championship grow to 21 points, but unfortunately Sergio couldn’t add to that tally as he was held off by Sainz and will start from fourth.
With Hamilton recovering to fifth but with a five place grid penalty for a change of ICU, Pierre will start from seventh in the grand prix, while Yuki will line up in 15th. As part of the Sprint weekend regulations, all four drivers will have a free choice of tyres at the start on Sunday.