Nico Rosberg has taken his tenth pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton for the Brazilian Grand Prix, breaking Rubens Barrichello’s qualifying record in the process.
Rosberg’s pole position in Interlagos means that he has out-qualified his team-mate for the season and won the inaugural pole position trophy.
Felipe Massa qualified in third position, six one hundredths of a second quicker than fellow Williams driver Valtteri Bottas in fourth.
Mercedes power was dominant throughout the qualifying session, as Jenson Button finished in fifth position fractionally quicker than Sebastian Vettel.
While the threat of rain loomed around the circuit, the session remained dry which helped not only Rosberg, but Hamilton, Massa
and Bottas clear Barrichello’s qualifying record.
The start of the session saw everyone opt for the soft tyre except for the Williams drivers, who thought they could save a pair of soft tyres for the race, hoping it would be dry. They were forced to change their strategy towards the end of the session as they were in danger of falling into the drop zone.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez failed to make it out of Q1, as they both experienced limited running in the practice sessions on Friday. Vergne blamed his exit on the car, calling it ‘undriveable’. They were joined by the two Lotus drivers how also failed to make it into Q2.
Daniel Ricciardo left his run in Q2 until the last few minutes, setting a time to get him comfortably into the final part of qualifying. However, despite having the edge on team-mate Vettel throughout the weekend, he was out-qualified by the German by under a tenth of a second.
Both Sauber drivers made it into the second stage of qualifying with Esteban Gutierrez getting the better of Adrian Sutil lining up in eleventh position; Sutil will start two places behind in thirteenth.
Daniil Kvyat was also knocked out of Q2 after he chose not to run due to his carried-over engine penalty from the last round in Austin.
Both Williams drivers looked a major threat to steal pole position away from Mercedes, with Massa getting within 0.040 seconds of Rosberg’s best time in Q2.
Unfortunately, neither of them was able to string together the perfect lap, with Bottas having minor lockups during his lap and Massa losing too much time in the second sector.
2014 Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:10.023||14|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:10.056||+ 0.033||14|
|3.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:10.247||+ 0.224||17|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:10.305||+ 0.282||17|
|5.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:10.930||+ 0.907||16|
|6.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:10.938||+ 0.915||19|
|7.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:10.969||+ 0.946||16|
|8.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:10.977||+ 0.954||18|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:11.075||+ 1.052||20|
|10.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:11.099||+ 1.076||18|
|Q3 Cut-Off: 1:38.378||Time||Gap*||Laps|
|11.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:11.591||+ 1.288||18|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:11.976||+ 1.673||14|
|13.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:12.099||+ 1.796||17|
|14.||Daniil Kvyat^||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||no time||9|
|Q2 Cut-Off: 1:42.546||Time||Gap**||Laps|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:12.037||+ 1.690||8|
|16.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:12.040||+ 1.693||10|
|17.||Sergio Pérez^||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:12.076||+ 1.729||9|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:12.233||+ 1.886||7|
* Gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:10.303 by Nico Rosberg
** Gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:10.347 by Nico Rosberg
^ Kvyat qualified P14, drops 7 grid places (remainder of engine-change penalty carried over from previous round); Perez qualified P17, drops 7 grid places (causing collision at previous round)
Images via XPB Images