F1 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton pipped to pole position by Rosberg
PUBLISHED: 17:43 08 November 2014 | UPDATED: 19:15 08 November 2014
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton will start on the front row of the Interlagos grid after qualifying second fastest for the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix.
The 29-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 racer from Hertfordshire was pipped to pole position by Silver Arrows rivals Nico Rosberg following a thrilling qualifying session at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil.
Rosberg went fastest in Q3 with a lap of 1m 10.023s to claim his 10th pole of the season – and the inaugural pole trophy for the season.
World championship leader Hamilton completed a seventh consecutive Mercedes front-row lockout, being just 33 thousands of a second slower than Rosberg– equivalent to two metres around the 4.3km circuit.
Felipe Massa was third in the provisional qualifying results for Williams, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas set to line-up alongside him on the second row tomorrow (Sunday) in fourth place.
Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace – the stats you need
* Race distance: 71 laps (305.909km/190.092 miles)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/16:00 (GMT)
* Circuit length: 4.309km/2.677 miles
* 2013 winner: Sebastian Vettel
* 2013 pole: Sebastian Vettel
* Lap record: Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams FW26) 1m11.473s (217.038km/h)
* First race: 1973
Jenson Button was fifth in the qualifying session classification for McLaren, as Mercedes powered cars took the top five places on the grid.
Sebastian Vettel was sixth for Red Bull and Kevin Magnussen seventh for McLaren. Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso qualified eighth, with the top 10 completed by Red Bull racer Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
After qualifying Hamilton said: “I’m probably happier with second than I’ve ever been and I’m really pleased with the way we qualified as a team.
“It was so, so close out there and my lap wasn’t perfect, so I know there’s more time to find and where I can find it.
“I love being right on the limit, racing close and having a good battle – that’s what Formula One is all about.
“Nico has been quick all weekend and I’ve been chasing and chasing – but what’s important in my mind is that I’ve been improving with every session and I’ve found a good balance.”
Looking ahead to the race, Hamilton added: “Tomorrow is where the points are awarded and anything can happen at Interlagos as we’ve seen in the past.
“I’m looking forward to a good race and hopefully another strong result for the team.”
2014 Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying
Qualifying result (top 10):
1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3 Felipe Massa (Williams)
4 Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
5 Jenson Button (McLaren)
6 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
7 Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)
8 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
10 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
After setting the fastest pole position lap ever set at Interlagos, surpassing the 1m 10.646s set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004, Rosberg said: “I’m very happy with the weekend so far.
“The last run in qualifying was not my best but it was good enough to start from pole. And I’m pleased to start from the clean side of the grid, which should be a good thing for me.
“With the team I’ve reviewed why Austin didn’t work out perfectly for me and we’ve done a race simulation already this morning with high fuel levels in the car, so I learned a few things that I can improve and am quite confident I can do a better job in this race.
“Of course, I need a bit of help from my team-mate to make the World Championship happen. But I’m still highly motivated and will continue to push as hard as I can all the way.”
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport chief Toto Wolff felt it was a “classic Formula One qualifying session” where everything came down to the final lap of the final session.
Wolff said: “Nico’s pace is just incredible at the moment – like we saw on Saturday in Austin, too. Lewis has had the advantage recently in terms of race craft but there is nothing to choose between them on speed and it’s a great achievement for Nico to claim the pole position trophy this year.
“They were both absolutely flat out this afternoon – they can take nothing for granted in each session and we were pushed hard by Williams, too.
“Both guys have a chance for the win tomorrow and I hope we will see another great battle between them on this fantastic circuit.”
Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe added: “Wow, that was tense today! It was a very close battle between Nico, Lewis and the two Williams cars and it wasn’t until the final runs that we could see we had claimed the front row – and that Nico had taken his 10th pole position of the season.
“That brings him the inaugural pole position trophy, which is a significant achievement for him and the team.”
As for Hamilton, Lowe added: “Lewis delivered a strong job but was pipped at the post by just 33 thousandths of a second – once again illustrating how close the battle really is between our two drivers.
“The weather was uncertain throughout the session. We have had rain predicted for the last few days but it has not materialised and that was true again today.
“However, the wind speed and direction were shifting throughout the session and those variations had a noticeable effect on the pace of the track during the hour.
“The scene is now set for a great race tomorrow, with the continued uncertainty over the weather also thrown into the mix.”
The 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix starts at 4pm UK time on Sunday.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.