HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the qualifying action as Magnussen grabs a shock pole in Sao Paulo
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen claimed his maiden pole position at the Sao Paulo Sprint weekend, ahead of world champion Max Verstappen, after pulling off a stunning upset amid wet-dry conditions in Friday qualifying.
In a session impacted by on/off rain, Magnussen used a break in the conditions at the start of Q3 to clock a benchmark time of 1m 11.674s on the soft tyres, shortly before George Russell beached his Mercedes in the gravel.
With the red flag thrown, another shower hit the Interlagos track and ensured that there was no hope of any improvements when the session resumed – Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton abandoning exploratory laps on intermediates.
As such, Magnussen claimed an unlikely pole and sparked emotional celebrations in the Haas garage, with the Dane now getting set to line up alongside Verstappen’s Red Bull on the front row of the Sprint grid.
Russell held on to third despite his spin, as McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five – Sainz leading the way for Ferrari after a questionable tyre strategy for team mate Charles Leclerc in the Q3 phase.
Watch highlights from a dramatic Sao Paulo Grand Prix qualifying session in the video player above.