Nico Rosberg made to the pole position in Interlagos, being a tenth faster than his teammate, who will start second. Vettel will start from third position as Bottas and Räikkönen follow him. Alonso stopped his car in his very first lap.
As to be expected, Mercedes dominated the qualifying session. What was not expected was Rosberg being in front of Hamilton, and less because of continued mistakes. Not so relevant, but mistakes. Mercedes are still strong in front of Ferrari despite it seemed in some moments that they could pass over.
First minutes for the Q1 started under silence until Nico Hülkenberg decided to leave his box. Surprise would arrive early, when Fernando Alonso stopped his car in turn 11 and got sit behind the wall to watch the session from a privileged position.
Nasr bothered Massa in his fast lap and judges announced an investigation when session finishes. By then, Q1 ended with Maldonado, Button, Rossi, Stevens and Alonso out. Spanish was not good with his team situation and when back to the pits he said something similar to what he has been saying all this season:
“We will try to find what can we do, which engine do we have and will do what we can with this. It will not be easy. We know the situation, we are conscious and will try to assume it the best way it is possible. We will take notes of all the mistakes and all the retirements we suffered so they do not happen anymore. To big problems, big solutions.”
Q2 would finish leaded by same driver as Q1, Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari would start to push and Vettel stayed between both Mercedes with Räikkönen fourth. Sector 2 became also important as drivers like Daniel Ricciardo or Romain Grosjean lost control of their cars because of lack of grip there.
Massa, despite being the fastest driver in the Speed Trap, was last driver to stay outside of the knockout and other Brazilian, Nasr, was first in this zone. Sainz, Pérez, Ericsson and Grosjean followed him. Frenchman talked again about the lack of control in second sector and asked for solutions in this matter. With Maldonado out in Q1, Lotus have so much work to do for tomorrow.
For the Q3, fastest cars started early. Hamilton locked his tires before starting with fast laps. Verstappen was up to just one fast lap, conscious that they were the ones with less possibilities of climbing higher than P10.
Kvyat, Bottas and Rosberg were first to get to the finish line. While Hamilton was not improving, Rosberg passed over his teammate and made it to the pole position for less than a tenth. This disliked the English, who would not take the compulsory TOP3 picture after the session. Massa, who started the lap locking the wheel in his home circuit, would not make it better than P8 as Verstappen was, as expected, P10.
What Ferrari showed in Q2 would become nothing. Vettel was third at half a second from Mercedes and Räikkönen was fifth. In between the red cars there would be Bottas. RedBull were seventh and ninth, with Kvyat, who does not have the evolution implemented in his engine, in front, demonstrating that this evolution was not that much.
Race will take place tomorrow at 2 pm local time.
[Remind 10 places grid penalty for Ricciardo and 3 for Bottas]
|Pos||Driver||Team||Time – Q1||Time – Q2||Time – Q3||Total Laps|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:12.595||1:12.485||1:12.265||18|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:12.730||1:12.527||1:12.322||20|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:12.639||1:12.825||1:12.417||17|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:12.824||1:12.712||1:12.739||15|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:13.267||1:13.045||15|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:13.140||1:13.147||13|