Lewis Hamilton has beaten team-mate Nico Rosberg by a narrow margin to take pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix. It was a close fight between the two Mercedes drivers who traded lap times in the closing moments of the session.
Through-out the session the Mercedes appeared to have the clear advantage over the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s. This weekend is key for Hamilton as he needs to win in order to keep his hopes of his fourth championship alive. Hamilton through the session, like he has all weekend appeared to have the slight edge over Rosberg.
Hamilton said “Honestly I felt quite comfortable in qualifying as I have all weekend. Nico’s been going quicker and quicker but I’ve generally had it covered. This is the best I could have hoped for coming to Brazil. It’s always a track I’ve struggled at so I’m glad to be at the front.”
Rosberg told Sky Sports “it was very close and that is when it is disappointing because you think ‘one tenth maybe I could have pulled out a tenth there or wherever’ so that is never ideal. But that is the way it is.”
Kimi Raikkonen put in a good performance to out qualify Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who complained to his team that he was struggling through his second flying lap with his rear tyres. Teams wanted to be out on track early in all the session as the treat of rain wasn’t far away.
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was a tenth off Verstappen. However the German was lucky to make it out in time following a break issue meant he missed the frantic rush to get out because of the treat of rain on track. The rain never materialised during the session, but there was a few bits of drizzle around.
Daniel Ricciardo also struggled with his Red Bull on track, the Australian complaining to the team about a lack of rear grip causing him to abort his final run in the middle sector finishing sixth fastest on track.
Romain Grosjean equalled Haas’s best qualifying of the season and managed to beat the Force India’s on track in seventh. It was a disappointing afternoon for both the Williams’s with Valtteri Bottas just missing out on Q3 by .06 of a second and Felipe Massa, who is heading into his last home race starting thirteenth.
Daniil Kvyat out qualified Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz who start ahead of the Renault of Jolyon Palmer who lock up in his runs in Q2.
McLaren’s Jenson Button who could be heading into his penultimate grand prix missed out on Q2 after being almost six tenths slower than team-mate Alonso and complaining of a lack of front grip having failed to improve his time on his second run.
Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon will start ahead of the Sabuers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr who starts his home race last. Nasr complained about traffic during his second run, although he was still able to improve on his first-run time by over four tenths. However it was Ericsson who found the time.