Nico Rosberg has snatched pole position by the narrowest of margins at Interlagos as he went faster than team mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.033 seconds.
The British Mercedes AMG Petronas driver seemed to have done enough to score pole having set a time of 1:10.056 to put him on top of the time sheets, however just as the chequered flag dropped Rosberg swept through with a time of 1:10.023 to ensure that his record of topping every qualifying session in Sao Paolo was maintained.
With the German scoring his tenth pole position of the year it snares him the very first F1 pole position trophy as Hamilton wouldn’t be able to beat that with pole position at Abu Dhabi.
However, it wasn’t easy sailing for Mercedes as the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas – who ended up third and fourth respectively – were the first to set times in the 1:10s but couldn’t go faster on their second runs as a technical error and a mistake respectively stopped any improvements.
In fifth place, and showing that the McLaren could have some pace in its penultimate race with Mercedes power, was Jenson Button, his time of 1:10.930 was set early on and couldn’t be better by those below him. That said Sebastian Vettel did come within 0.008 of taking the place but had to settle for sixth.
Seventh place went to Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren who – by some weird coincidence – was only 0.008 ahead of Fernando Alonso in the first of the Ferraris.
Daniel Ricciardo was in ninth place, the first of the drivers outside the 1:10s and was chased down by flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen to round out the top ten.
Not making it into Q3 but surely must be pleased with their result of 11th and 13th were the Saubers of Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil who managed to out qualify Force India who had Nico Hulkenberg in 12th place and Sergio Perez in 17th after the Mexican lost out on Friday running after a crash by Juncadella in FP1.
Propping up the field was Pastor Maldonado, meaning the 17 cars ahead need to watch they don’t get involved in any action as the Lotus looks to move up the field.