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Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying: Nico Rosberg roars to fifth pole in succession

Nico Rosberg claimed his fifth pole position in succession as he beat his Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Brazilian Gran...

Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying: Nico Rosberg roars to fifth pole in succession

Nico Rosberg claimed his fifth pole position in succession as he beat his Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Rosberg, who also started from the front when he won at Interlagos in 2014, was quicker than Hamilton after the first runs in Q3 and then set a quickest lap of 1m11.282s to beat the world champion by 0.078s.

Nico Rosberg Sebastian Vettel

Speaking after the session, Rosberg said: “[I’m] pleased with today, it’s the best place to be for tomorrow’s race. It worked well in qualifying; I was playing catch up a bit in quali two so that didn’t go to plan.

“But then in quali three, [I] really got going and got some good laps in. The last lap was really on the edge, there was a couple of big moments in there. But still it worked out to be a good time so I’m happy with that.

“I’m here and I want to win and that’s it really. Of course as a side effect, P2 in the championship is still there to be had, which is better than P3 for sure. It’s always better to end the season on a high than on a low, thinking about next year.”

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton said: “It was good today, I got a really good balance in the car [and] I’m very happy with the work that we did with the engineers. [My] laps were looking very good through Q1 and Q2.

“Into Q3 I just wasn’t able to find that small bit of [an] edge at the end. [I] didn’t maximise the first sector, but the other two sectors were ok.

“My main job this year is done, so [winning in Brazil] is not the most important thing, but of course that’s the target. Last year I was strong in the race so I hope to carry that through to tomorrow and try and see if I can make the difference.”

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel will start third for Ferrari, ahead of Valtteri Bottas who qualified fourth. But the Williams driver will start down in seventh place as a result of his three-place grid penalty for overtaking under red flag conditions in FP2.

Kimi Rakkionen ended up fifth in the second Ferrari, just ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who has still never been out qualified by a teammate in Brazil.

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat finished seventh for Red Bull ahead of home-favourite Felipe Massa and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian driver will drop ten places on the grid as a result of a penalty for running a development Renault engine, while Max Verstappen rounded out the top ten.

Felipe Nasr ended up 11th for Sauber but faces a post-session investigation for blocking his Brazilian countryman, Massa, in Q1.

Carlos Sainz was 12th for Toro Rosso, just ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez who could not extend his Q3 appearance streak to five races, which means he has still never qualified in the top ten at Interlagos.

Sergio Perez

Marcus Ericsson finished in P14 in the second Sauber, with Romain Grosjean down in 15th after spinning his Lotus at Turn 6 towards the end of Q2. The Frenchman was able to squeeze a final lap in but could not improve on his damaged tyres and was visibly annoyed as he crossed the line.

Pastor Maldonado equalled his best qualifying position at Interlagos with P16, just ahead of Jenson Button who finished 17th for McLaren.

Alexander Rossi ended up 18th to out qualify his Manor teammate Will Stevens for the final time in 2015, as the American driver will not race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso

In a similar manner to FP2, McLaren told Fernando Alonso to “stop immediately” halfway through Q1, and the Spaniard pulled over on the approach to Turn 10 without setting a time. Alonso was subsequently spotted soaking up the sun in a marshal’s chair as he waited for a lift back to the pits.

Felipe Nasr was given a three place penalty for blocking his compatriot Felipe Massa in Q1. He joins Bottas and Ricciardo in moving back from his qualifying slot when the final grid is drawn up on Sunday morning.

Qualifying results:

Pos

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m11.282s

2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.078s

3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +0.522s

4 Valtteri Bottas Williams +0.803s *Has grid penalty

5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +0.862s

6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +0.983s

7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull +1.040s

8 Felipe Massa Williams +1.133s

9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +1.135s *Has grid penalty

10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso +1.457s

11 Felipe Nasr Sauber

12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso

13 Sergio Perez Force India

14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber

15 Romain Grosjean Lotus

16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus

17 Jenson Button McLaren

18 Alexander Rossi Marussia

19 Will Stevens Marussia

20 Fernando Alonso McLaren *No time set
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