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Rosberg stays in the fight by sealing Interlagos pole ahead of Hamilton

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Rosberg stays in the fight by sealing Interlagos pole ahead of Hamilton
Nov 8, 2014, 6:34 PM

Nico Rosberg secured the first driver's trophy of the season as he took his 10th pole position of the season and his first ever in Interlagos in ...

Nico Rosberg secured the first driver's trophy of the season as he took his 10th pole position of the season and his first ever in Interlagos in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Rosberg now has the 2014 FIA Pole Position trophy to celebrate, having bettered team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.033 of a second as the first eight drivers were covered by less than a second on a dry, overcast day newly resurfaced track that produced the fastest ever pole lap in Interlagos.

Afterwards, however, Rosberg was not willing to begin celebrating too early. “[It was a] perfect job only if it works out tomorrow, unfortunately. Up to now of course it’s been going well. It’s the best place to be in tomorrow but of course I have to make it happen in the race, unlike Austin, for example."

Rosberg's Interlagos weekend has so far been characterised by a very calm attitude to the title battle. However, asked if the championship situation had prompted a change in the type of pressure he is now under the Mercedes driver said not.

"It's pretty much similar. You know, the adrenaline is there, the tension, the excitement. It’s not been changing that much. And I’m just here. I’m going for it. I’m pushing myself to stay optimistic all the time," he said.

“[I learned] from Austin. I know what I need to do better so from that point of view, good to go for tomorrow.”

His team-mate was similarly optimistic and, despite being bettered by Rosberg for the 11th time in 18 races, the 2008 champion could still appreciate the thrill of the battle.

“It was great fun," said Hamilton. "Nico did a great lap and I lost a little bit of time in Turn 10 and perhaps a tiny bit in Turn One but yeah, it was great just having to keep going out and fight and that’s what qualifying is all about. It should always be that kind of gap; that close, so really exciting. I hope people enjoyed that.

“And then, of course pole position is the best place to start here but it’s a long race tomorrow," he added. "It should be quite exciting with all the pit stops and the weather, we don’t really know. I’m here. I want to win just as much as anyone else here, so I’ll work as hard as I can tomorrow and I hope we get to have a race at least.”

Hamilton has indicated that he will not take unnecessary risks tomorrow, viewing this Interlagos circuit as being more difficult to overtake on than Austin last weekend. If he feels he is quicker he will have a go, but he's not going to do it for the sake of it, with a comfortable points margin.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Practice Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Three time Brazilian Grand Prix pole sitter Felipe Massa headed an all-Williams second row, the local hero qualifying third with a time just 0.058s faster than Valtteri Bottas. Massa admitted afterwards that the result had been an emotional one.

“Yeah, very emotional," said Massa. "I think very emotional to be here in Brazil and to have a competitive car starting in the top three. I didn’t use everything I could from the car because I just got a lot of traffic.

"I had a lot of problems on my last set that I couldn’t leave the engine on, so it was a lot of problems to leave the garage. I left at the last moment with a lot of traffic around, with Magnussen, so I couldn’t improve my lap time and everybody was improving a little bit on the second set.

“I was not going to improve enough to beat them but maybe to get very close so it was very tight between the team-mates, very tight between [the Mercedes drivers] and very tight between me and Valtteri.

“But I think that’s a good thing. I’m so happy and I hope it’s just the beginning and the start for tomorrow for a good result for us as well.”

Jenson Button will start fifth after pipping seventh fastest McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen for the third race in a row and levelling the season long head to head in the process.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Splitting the McLarens in sixth was Sebastian Vettel, the reigning world champion out-qualifying ninth-fastest Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time since Monza five races ago.

The two Ferraris made do with a single run in the final part of the session, Fernando Alonso ending the day eighth quickest, just over a tenth of a second faster than 10th-placed Kimi Raikkonen.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Esteban Guttierez missed out making the top 10 for the first time this season by just over three tenths of a second but the Mexican was nonetheless delighted with his personal best qualifying for the season, which draws him level in the intra-team qualifying battle with Adrian Sutil. The  latter was 13th fastest, just over half a second behind his team-mate.

Splitting the Saubers was Nico Hulkenberg whose Force India hasn't qualified higher than 12th since Hungary seven races ago.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Daniil Kvyat was a strong eighth fastest in Q1 but wasn't able to explore his car's potential in the second part of qualifying, his team electing to keep him in the garage throughout placing him 14th overall in the session.

Both Lotus drivers were eliminated in Q1, with Romain Grosjean 15th and missing out by just under a tenth of a second as Sutil just about managed to avoid the trap door.

Jean-Eric Vergne has endured a difficult weekend to this point with interrupted seat time and he complained of understeer after qualifying three thousandths slower than Grosjean.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Brazilian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Carrying a seven-place grid penalty from the US Grand Prix and focusing his car preparation exclusively on Sunday, Sergio Perez will start just one place behind his qualifying position after finishing Q1 three hundreths slower than Vergne.

Slowest of all was Pastor Maldonado in the second Lotus, the Venezuelan's experience in Brazil in marked contrast to the last race in Austin.

Brazilian Grand Prix Qualifying

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:10.347 1:10.303 1:10.023 14

2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.457 1:10.712 1:10.056 14

3 Felipe Massa Williams 1:10.602 1:10.343 1:10.247 17

4 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:10.832 1:10.421 1:10.305 17

5 Jenson Button McLaren 1:11.097 1:11.127 1:10.930 16

6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:11.880 1:11.129 1:10.938 19

7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:11.134 1:11.211 1:10.969 16

8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:11.558 1:11.215 1:10.977 18

9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:11.593 1:11.208 1:11.075 20

10 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:11.193 1:11.188 1:11.099 18

11 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:11.520 1:11.591 18

12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:11.848 1:11.976 14

13 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:11.943 1:12.099 17

14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:11.423  9

15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:12.037  8

16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:12.040  10

17 Sergio Perez Force India 1:12.076  9

18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:12.233  7

 

 

 
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