Lewis Hamilton secures pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, beating Sebastian Vettel by 0.093 seconds around the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.
The Brit captured pole with a 1m07.281s to claim Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s 100th pole position in Formula 1, as he aims to win for the first time as a five-time world champion.
Vettel managed to qualify second place and will start the race on the Soft tyres after another gamble made by Scuderia Ferrari. But the German could find himself in trouble as during the early stages of Q2, he was called into the FIA weigh-bridge and refused to turn the engine off, as well as breaking the scales. He has been called into the Stewards after the qualifying.
Both Finnish drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen share the second row for the race, with the Mercedes driver beating the Ferrari driver in Qualifying. Both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing cars of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo qualify fifth and sixth, but an engine penalty for Ricciardo will send him back five places.
Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team‘s Marcus Ericsson was the best of the rest with seventh place ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, who gambled on a lap in mixed conditions during Q2 to get into the final session. Haas F1 Team‘s Romain Grosjean placed himself in ninth with Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda‘s Pierre Gasly rounding off the top ten.
Qualifying began with a large cue of cars waiting at the pit entrance as dark clouds gathered around the Interlagos circuit at the beginning of the session.
Bottas set the first initial time of the session but was soon beaten by team-mate Hamilton. Räikkönen jumped to the top ahead of the newly crowned champion before Verstappen set a 1m08.205s to go fastest out of everyone on their first laps. Vettel managed to place himself in third as the drivers reported in the first sign of rain arriving with ten minutes of Qualifying 1 remaining.
Small patches of rain arrived onto the track around the second sector, which made it hard for drivers to make big improvements of their times. Drivers who were in the danger zone for Q1 couldn’t improve on their times and found themselves out of the session. Stoffel Vandoorne, Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Brendon Hartley and Carlos Sainz Jr. failed to get into Qualifying 2.
The second session began with a large train of cars rushing out to set a lap with more rain predicted to arrive. Both Mercedes’ drivers of Bottas and Hamilton left their pit garage late away from the cue of cars as the mechanics rushed to grab a set of slick tyres. Bottas’ time of a 1m07.727s placed himself on top of the time sheets ahead of Hamilton and the two Red Bull’s of Verstappen and Ricciardo.
Both Ferrari cars dived into the pits after their outlap for a set of Soft tyres whilst the rest of the field set their fast laps with the rain approaching. But both Vettel and Räikkönen set strong times to get themselves into the final session, as well as setting the second and fifth fastest time.
Hamilton was involved with two incidents relating to impeding drivers during their qualifying laps. The Mercedes driver moved over to the other side of the track whilst Sergey Sirotkin was approaching in the second sector. The Brit also moved when Räikkönen was on a hot lap down the main straight towards Turn 4.
The rain started to arrive heavily midway through the session and with the drivers struggling to improve their times. All fifteen cars pulled into the pits with five minutes left of the session remaining but the drivers who are sat in the dropzone attempted to give one more shot with a lap.
All failed to improve on their time except for Leclerc who managed to jump up to eighth place, pushing Kevin Magnussen out of the session. The Dane joins Sergio Pérez, Esteban Ocon, Nico Hülkenberg and Sirotkin.
The final session began with the Ferrari’s setting the fastest inital times with Vettel setting a 1m07.374s ahead of team-mate Räikkönen but Hamilton soon jumped ahead of Vettel to go fastest overall from the first lap of Q3 with a 1m07.301s.
Hamilton was able to improve his time with a 1m07.281 to secure pole position as both Ferrari’s failed to improve their time, with Vettel falling 0.093 seconds short to pole position. Bottas was able to improve his time and keep his third place away from Räikkönen whilst Verstappen managed to beat team-mate Ricciardo, who will have to take a grid penalty for the race.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:07.281|
|2||5||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1:07.374||0.093|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:07.441||0.140|
|4||7||Kimi Raikkonnen||Scuderia Ferrari||1:07.456||0.175|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:07.778||0.497|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:07.780||0.499|
|7||9||Marcus Ericsson||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||1:08.296||1.015|
|8||16||Charles Leclerc||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||1:08.492||1.211|
|9||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas-F1 Team||1:08.517||1.236|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1:09.029||1.748|
|11||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas-F1 Team||1:08.659||0.932|
|12||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||1:08.741||1.014|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||1:08.770||1.043|
|14||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1:08.834||1.107|
|15||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Martini Racing||1:10.381||2.654|
|16||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1:09.269||1.064|
|17||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1:09.280||1.075|
|18||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Formula 1 Team||1:09.402||1.197|
|19||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||1:09.441||1.236|
|20||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Formula 1 Team||1:09.601||1.396|