Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Brazilian GP, a potential championship-deciding race, from pole position after edging Nico Rosberg by a tenth in qualifying.
On a cold but dry track with rain in the air, Lewis Hamilton drew first blood in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The reigning World Champion, who needs to secure his first win at the Interlagos circuit to keep the championship alive, crossed the line with a 1:10.860.
That put him 0.162s up on title rival Rosberg, who was not entirely happy with his W07 as he reported “traction is not great.”
A second run with Hamilton ahead of Rosberg on the track saw the Brit lower the benchmark to a 1:10.736 while Rosberg went purple in the first sector.
The German, though, was not able to continue it and fell short by 0.102s.
Kimi Raikkonen was third, 0.668s off the pace, ahead of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
There was drama for Ferrari ahead of qualifying as the Scuderia discovered a hydraulic leak on Vettel’s car but were able to fix it minutes into Q1.
Romain Grosjean qualified an incredible seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso.
It was not a great final Brazilian GP qualifying for Felipe Massa as he finished down in 13th place.
Despite showing pace on Friday, the Williams driver was able to get his tyres working in qualifying.
“I think I have a puncture or something, the front tyres aren’t working!” he said on his first run while on his second he informed the team that he “doesn’t know why” he was so slow.
However, it was Jenson Button who was the biggest loser with the Brit dropping out in Q1.
“We definitely sorted those problems out, didn’t we?” was Button’s sarcastic response when he told that he was P17.
1 Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.736
2 Rosberg Mercedes 1:10.838
3 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:11.404
4 Verstappen Red Bull 1:11.485
5 Vettel Ferrari 1:11.495
6 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:11.540
7 Grosjean Haas 1:11.937
8 Hulkenberg Force India 1:12.104
9 Perez Force India 1:12.165
10 Alonso McLaren 1:12.266
11 Bottas Williams 1:12.420
12 Gutierrez Haas 1:12.431
13 Massa Williams 1:12.521
14 Kvyat Toro rosso 1:12.726
15 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:12.920
16 Palmer Renault 1:13.258
17 Button McLaren 1:13.276
18 Magnussen Renault 1:13.410
19 Wehrlein Manor 1:13.427
20 Ocon Manor 1:13.432
21 Ericsson Sauber 1:13.623
22 Nasr Sauber 1:13.681