Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix from pole position, after fighting teammate Nico Rosberg to 1st by one tenth of a second.
Behind them, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen lock out the second row, with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top six.
Going into Q1, there were fears of rain, however such things did not materialise throughout the session.
There were initial worries regarding Vettel, after his car was stuck in the garage following an earlier hydraulic issue. Despite this, he managed to get out in the session.
The start of the session was fairly uneventful, however we saw Force India struggling to keep the pace with Williams in the fight for fourth in the Constructor’s Championship.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg reported that a strong lap was “not happening”, and asked to pit.
The surprise of Q1 was McLaren’s Jenson Button, who did not make it into Q2 after struggling with understeer. He qualified 17th.
The two Renault’s were split, after recently re-signed Jolyon Palmer made it into Q2 ahead of teammate Kevin Magnussen, who was stuck in Q1, and will start 18th.
Into Q2, Hamilton gained an early lead over Rosberg, and Force India were again stuck trying to find pace.
Following some big lock-ups from Palmer, the Brit remains in Q2, with fruitless hopes of wanting to start a “little higher”.
At the end of Q2, there was a temporary elation from Brazilian fans as Williams’ Felipe Massa provisionally made it into Q3 at his final home Grand Prix, however such elation was soon dashed, as he was pushed down to 13th following a late surge from the Force Indias.
Massa’s teammate Valtteri Bottas also did not make it into Q3, and he will start tomorrow’s race in eleventh. This is the second time in the last four races that both Williams’ did not make it into Q3.
Finally, going into Q3, tensions were high as the battle for pole commenced.
Hamilton set an initial fast time of 1:10.8, leaving Rosberg behind as the German set 1:11.02.
With five minutes remaining, Rosberg reported seeing drizzle and also mentioned understeer in his car.
In the final outing, Rosberg missed out on pole by just 1/10th of a second as Hamilton came home to snatch an all-important 1st starting place.
Lights go out at 4PM GMT tomorrow.