SAO PAULO (AP) World champion Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix, boosting Mercedes’ chance of winning the Formula One constructors’ championship.
Hamilton clocked a record 1 minute, 7.281 seconds around Interlagos, edging Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 0.093 seconds.
Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was third, and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
Mercedes leads Ferrari in the constructors’ championship by 55 points. The Brazilian race is the penultimate GP of the season.
“I’m really happy to be in Brazil,” Hamilton said. “I’ve got (Ayrton) Senna” design on the back of my helmet. I appreciate the love I get here.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who won the Mexican GP two weeks ago, was fifth, and teammate Daniel Ricciardo sixth.
Ricciardo, however, will start five positions behind because of a penalty after his team had to replace his turbocharger for the sixth time this season. The Australian driver, who was on pole in Mexico, also started from the back in Italy and Russia because of penalties.