Lewis Hamilton has secured pole position ahead of tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of championship leader Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton’s time of 1:10.736 was too good for his team mate as Rosberg could only get within a tenth of a second despite improving on his final run. The Briton had been on top in all three qualifying sessions by narrow margins, and has put himself in the best possible position to take the championship fight to the final round in Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen qualified third and beat Sebastian Vettel by a tenth of a second, with the two Ferrari drivers split by Max Verstappen in fourth position. Verstappen was able to again out-qualify fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who fell over half a second off the pace.
A surprise qualifying by Romain Grosjean saw the Haas driver beat both Force Indias and a McLaren as the Frenchman put in a best time of 1:11.937 which was good enough for seventh position, leaving Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso to complete the top 10.
While it was unexpected for both Force India drivers to be out-qualified by Grosjean in the Haas, the bigger surprise came from their main championship rival Williams, as neither driver was able to make the top 10 cut despite being one of the fastest during Friday’s practice sessions.
Felipe Massa endured his worst ever qualifying at the Interlagos circuit qualifying in 13th position, his previous lowest starting position was with Sauber in 2003 where he started the race 12th. Valtteri Bottas was two positions ahead of Massa in 11th, with the two Williams drivers split by Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer again made the Q2 cut, qualifying in 16th position behind the Toro Rosso pairing of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Palmer escaped Q1 at the expense of Jenson Button, who was in the top 10 during Friday practice, although labeled his McLaren a “totally different car” on Saturday.
Image via XPB Images