Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes AMG) takes pole position at Interlagos, Brazil. The Finn taking advantage of his teammates crash early in Q1. He is closely followed by Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari) in 2nd and Kimi Raïkkönen (Scuderia Ferrari) completes the top 3.
Qualifying immediately started with a big surprise, as Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes AMG) crashes, before even being able to set a time. The 2017 world champion will have to ask the stewards an exception to be able to race. Q1 saw another surprise with Lance Stroll (Williams) not managing a clear lap and missing out on Q2. Apart from that, it is the usual with both Sauber being eliminated and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.
Q2 saw some interesting actions, with Fernando Alonso (McLaren) being able to realize a beautiful lap, getting him in Q3 from a 6th fastest time. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne struggling more, only managed a 13th time, being half a second slower. No big surprises here either, with the exception of Esteban Ocon (Force India) not managing to get himself in Q3, finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th.
We also see both Haas being eliminated, with Romain Grosjean outqualifying Kevin Magnussen. Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) didn’t manage a lap time due to what seemed like mechanical issues and is the last elimated in this session.
On to the last part of qualifying to determine the top 10 and with Lewis Hamilton not being there the fight seems to be going between his teammate Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel (Scuderia Ferrari). It’s an intense fight between the two, making it unsure who will take pole until the end of the session.
It is in the end Valtteri Bottas who takes the advantage, just 0.038 seconds quicker than Sebastian Vettel in second position. Kimi Raïkkönen will start in 3rd position, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in 4th. Daniel Ricciardo qualified 5th, but will be handed grid penalties. Sergio Perez (Force India) qualified 6th, followed by Fernando Alonso who managed a beautiful lap, in 7th. The Spaniard is followed by the Renault of Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz, respectively in 8th and 9th. Local hero Felipe Massa (Williams) completes the top 10.