Lewis Hamilton secured the 19th pole for Mercedes this season and beat the record for the number of poles in a single season. The British driver eked out a tenth over Nico Rosberg and crucially, both drivers had a cushion to Kimi Raikkonen back in 3rd.
Q1 started under windy conditions as Hamilton and Rosberg got their laps out of the way after two minutes of the session. They got through on their soft tyres on 1.11’s. The victims of the session were Button, Magnussen, Wehrlein, Ocon, Ericsson and Nasr.
— Sauber F1 Team (@SauberF1Team) November 12, 2016
Jenson Button made a small error going into turn-one with a lock-up which was enough to keep him in the drop zone. Magnussen struggled whilst his team-mate and Renault 2017 driver Jolyon Palmer managed to get into Q2 despite traffic causing him to abort one of his hot laps.
Q1 completed at Interlagos. Fernando P11, Jenson P17. HAM P1. Eliminated with Jenson: MAG, WEH, OCO, ERI, NAS. #BrazilGP
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 12, 2016
At the start of Q2, Mercedes took an early run and kept quite the gap to the rest of the pack. Hamilton edged Rosberg with a 1:11:238, a tenth ahead and a confirmation that both Silver Arrows will start the race tomorrow on the soft compound tyre.
As the checkered flag came out, there was the usual flurry of changes in the order. Both Williams cars failed to make the top ten despite looking strong all weekend. Their Force India rivals crept through to Q3 . Esteban Gutierrez managed 12th despite momentarily placing in the top ten, his Haas teammate Grosjean got through in 9th.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) November 12, 2016
Local hero Felipe Massa qualified 13th and will start the race directly behind Bottas in 11th. Both Toro Rosso’s also struggled but Daniil Kvyat did manage to out-qualify Catlos Sainz for 14th and 15th. Jolyon Palmer would have been happy to get through to Q2, but found his Renault was unable to compete with the midfield and lines up 16th.
For Q3, Hamilton got the session underway with a purple dip into the 1:10’s with a 1:10:860s, 0.162s ahead of Rosberg, The Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s were covered by 0.15s from 2nd to 6th with Max Verstappen leading the best of the rest battle after the opening runs.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) November 12, 2016
The second runs saw both Mercedes driver’s improve on their times but Hamilton kept his edge and will start the Brazilian Grand Prix on pole. Nico Rosberg starts the most crucial race of his F1 career in 2nd and only needs to collect 18-points if Hamilton wins.
Kimi Raikkonen had a great session and lines up 3rd but will have Max Verstappen on his heels going into turn-one. The Dutchman managed 4th and starts ahead of Vettel in 5th, who was only 0.01s off the Red Bull. Daniel Ricciardo will be disappointed with 6th.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 12, 2016
Romain Grosjean had an incredible session for Haas and will start the race in 7th. He starts ahead of Hulkenberg, Perez and Alonso who rounds out the top ten.
PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF #QUALI)
HAM edges ROS in the battle for pole
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 12, 2016