Nico Rosberg will start the Brazilian Grand Prix from pole position after topping the timesheets in the final stage of qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday.
Rosberg recorded a fastest lap time of 1:11.282 to edge out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.078 seconds in the final stage of qualifying, extending his streak of pole positions to five races.
After setting the pace on the first set of runs in Q3, Rosberg went faster still with his second flying lap, and although Hamilton was able to recover a lot of time in the final sector, the Briton could not deny his teammate pole.
As a result, Hamilton will start the race from second on the grid ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished a further half a second back in Q3.
Williams’ charge was led by Valtteri Bottas on Saturday as he finished fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, while teammate and home favorite Felipe Massa was left to settle for P8.
Former Interlagos pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg continued his good form in Brazil by qualifying sixth ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, finished ninth, while Max Verstappen rounded out the top ten for Toro Rosso.
Felipe Nasr will start his first home race from 11th on the grid after a strong qualifying session for Sauber that saw Marcus Ericsson finish 14th in the second car. They were split by Carlos Sainz Jr and Sergio Perez in 12th and 13th respectively.
Romain Grosjean’s hopes of making it through to the top ten were dashed when he spun towards the end of Q2, flat-spotting his tires. He had no choice but to complete a lap on them regardless, ailing to P15 just ahead of Lotus teammate Pastor Maldonado who had been eliminated in Q1.
It proved to be another qualifying to forget for McLaren as Fernando Alonso suffered a loss of power on his car for the second time in the weekend. The Spaniard was told to stop his car at the side of the track before posting a lap time in Q1, leaving him at the foot of the timesheets.
In the sister McLaren, Jenson Button also failed to make it through to Q2 after a slow final lap, leaving him 17th for the start of tomorrow’s race ahead only of Alexander Rossi, Will Stevens, and Alonso.