Nico Rosberg is fighting to keep his championship hopes alive.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg denied his team mate Lewis Hamilton pole position as he crossed the line and took the top spot from the Englishman, ahead of the FIA Formula One 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow. Rosberg’s qualifying result means that he will receive the pole position trophy for achieving the most in the season. Mercedes as a team have also secured 18 pole positions this season, only losing out once.
Rosberg’s gain of pole position in the final seconds of Q3 became Hamilton’s loss and the 2008 World Champion had to settle for second place as he will line up alongside the German driver.
Williams running strong
Williams’ Felipe Massa impressed with his performance in qualifying and particularly the final session. The Brazilian driver is racing on home turf this weekend and his qualifying result seemed to be welcomed by the locals (judging by their reaction), as he finished Q3 in third place after threatening for pole.
Massa pipped his team mate Valtteri Bottas to a higher grid slot in qualifying as well. Bottas qualified fourth and will accompany Massa on the second row of the grid.
Button rounds out the top five
McLaren’s Jenson Button was the closest driver to the Mercedes’ and Williams’ duos who locked out the first two rows on the grid. Button ended Q3 just behind the top four drivers to secure fifth place on the grid for himself.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel initially appeared to struggle through the early stages of qualifying, but the reigning World Champion managed to get back on track and made it through to Q3. The German driver will line up alongside Button on the third row of the grid as he qualified in sixth place.
Vettel will find himself in a McLaren sandwich on the grid, as Button’s team mate, Kevin Magnussen ended Q3 in seventh place ahead of the race tomorrow.
Ferrari at the back-half of the top ten
The first of the Ferrari duo within the top 10 comes in the form of Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard beat his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying as he completed Q3 in eighth place. Raikkonen claimed the final spot in the top 10 for the grid.
Alonso and Raikkonen will be separated on the grid by Daniel Ricciardo, who secured ninth place for himself as qualifying came to a close.
Rest of the field
Beyond the top 10, the rest of the field fought over 11th to 18th place to make up the grid for the race start tomorrow with Pastor Maldonado qualifying last. He will move up to 16th due to grid penalties though.
Two of the drivers beyond the top 10 will make up the back of the grid as a result of penalties hanging over them. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat faces a seven place grid penalty for an engine change at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix. The Russian driver is serving the remainder of the penalty going into the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was issued with a seven place grid penalty by the stewards following the United States Grand Prix, for causing a collision with Sauber’s Adrian Sutil during the race. Kvyat and Perez will line up in 17th and 18th place respectively as a result of the penalties they face.
Today’s outcome in qualifying proves just how close the battle for the Drivers’ title is between Mercedes’ team mates, Hamilton and Rosberg.
Rosberg has shown that he has a good track record in qualifying after securing his 10th pole position of the season following today’s session and with him securing the pole position trophy. Hamilton also has his own personal record of success on race days, as he has won the last five races and will more than likely be aiming for a sixth consecutive victory tomorrow.
It is certain that Rosberg and Hamilton will go all out to achieve success tomorrow as the German hopes to keep his championship hopes alive and the Englishmen hopes to extend his lead.