F1 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton misses pole position

PUBLISHED: 17:46 14 November 2015 | UPDATED: 20:28 14 November 2015

Lewis Hamilton driving in the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton driving in the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Mercedes-Benz

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton will start the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix from the front row at Interlagos after today’s qualifying session.

The 30-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver from Hertfordshire was beaten to pole position in Brazil by his Silver Arrows team-mate Nico Rosberg.

There was barely anything between the two Mercedes drivers – just 0.078 seconds.

Robserg made it five pole positions in a row with a Q3 flying lap of 1m 11.282s, with Hamilton’s best time a 1m 11.360s.

The pair sealed the 14th Silver Arrows front row lockout of 2015, claiming the 100th and 101st front row grid slots for the marque in the process.

Both Mercedes drivers completed one run in Q1 (Option), one run in Q2 (Option) and two in Q3 (Option/Option).

“Today was good. I just couldn’t find that edge in Q3. The other sectors were good,” said Hamilton afterwards.

Brazil facts & stats: The race

* Start time: 1400 (local) / 1600 (GMT)

* Race distance: 71 laps (full world championship points awarded after 75 per cent distance/53 laps)

* 2014 winner: Nico Rosberg 71 laps in 1:30m02.555

* 2014 pole position: Nico Rosberg 1m10.023 221.532km/h (137.654mph)

* 2014 fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton lap 62 1m13.555 210.895km/h (131.044mph)

* Safety Car likelihood: Statistically, there’s a 70 per cent chance of the Safety Car appearing and it’s something the engineers factor into their race strategies

* Don’t put the kettle on: On laps 7, 26 and 50. The top six finishers completed the race on three-stop strategies last year and with the same tyre compounds being used this season, it’s fair to assume two or three stops once again

* Weather forecast: Warm and wet. There’s been a lot of rain in recent weeks in São Paulo and the weather conditions look similarly unpredictable over the race weekend

“Last year I was good in the race so I’ll just have to try to carry that over again tomorrow.”

Sebastian Vettel qualified third fastest for Ferrari ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who will start from seventh after his three-place grid penalty from free practice yesterday.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth in the provisional Q3 qualifying results in São Paulo.

Brazil facts & stats: The car

* Fuel consumption: 1.5kg per lap, which is on the low side

* Full throttle: 60 per cent

* Brake wear: Medium. There are only six braking events around the lap, of which only two are heavy

* Gear changes: 42 per lap/2,982 per race

After becoming the 13th driver to claim five consecutive Formula One poles, Rosberg said: “I didn’t have a good start in to qualifying. Q1 and Q2 didn’t go to plan.

“But then I found a better rhythm in the final session, so I was happy to bring it all together in Q3.

“It feels great to be on pole again here. It’s the best possible position to start the race, I have the quickest car and on Friday we were able to practise a lot for the race, so I’m quite confident for tomorrow.

Brazil stats & facts: The track

* First race: 1973

* Circuit length: 4.309km (2.678 miles)

* Run to Turn One: 190m (0.118 miles)

* Longest straight: 650m (0.404 miles), on the approach to Turn One

* Top speed: 323km/h (201mph) on the approach to Turn One

* DRS zones: Two – on the approach to Turn One and again on the approach to Turn Four

* Key corner: Turn 14, a second-gear left-hander situated at one of the lowest points on the track. It’s vital to get a good exit because the cars are then flat-out up the hill to Turn One

* Pitlane length: 380 metres (0.191 miles)

* Major changes for 2015: A few minor kerb alterations, but no major changes

“It will be a good battle with Lewis and also the Ferraris, so I can’t wait for that.”

Rosberg added: “But what happened yesterday [Friday] in Paris makes everything else relative. “What we do here is really not important compared to that and I’m thinking of them today.”

Hamilton said: “I might still be working on my 50th pole position – but it’s been looking closer this weekend for sure.

Did you know?

For five consecutive years, from 2005 to 2009 inclusive, the World Championship was decided at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“Considering how this week has gone, I’m pretty happy with that.

“Q1 and Q2 were really good and I was trying to better them in Q3 – but it was such a fine line that it was really difficult to pull something out.

“I did go quicker on the last lap but I was already down a tenth and a half out of turn three, so that was the difference.”

The Stevenage-born racer added: “It’s frustrating when you know you could have done better – but ultimately it’s just that one shot you have to make it count.

“What it does mean, with the gap so small, is that we will have an exciting race tomorrow.

“To win in front of the Brazilian fans would be something unique and special for me.

“While we’ve been focused on qualifying today, I’ve also been praying for all those affected in Paris. My thoughts are with them.”

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, felt both Silver Arrows drivers put in stunning laps. Wolff said: “That was an immense lap from Lewis – and an unbelievably immense one from Nico.

“He was on fire today and he’s really fired up to get second in the Championship.

“He ran a very intelligent session, with some pace management in the early stages to keep his tyres fresh for tomorrow.

“But it was such a tight battle with Lewis, who was incredibly consistent all through qualifying and just missed out at the end – probably by about a car length.

“It’s a good satisfaction to take the front row again.

“However, we are little more than a sideshow today; our thoughts, sympathies and condolences are with all the people touched by the tragic events in Paris yesterday evening.”

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes’ executive director (technical), said it was a “fantastic battle” between Rosberg and Hamilton for pole position.

“This is our fourteenth front row lockout of the season, a milestone of which the team should be extremely proud,” said Lowe.

“Our approach to qualifying was based on saving the Prime tyres for the race, so we ran the Option all the way through, making a single run in the first two parts of qualifying, then two runs in Q3.

“The session ran very smoothly, with the short lap here making it comfortable to complete two runs in the final segment of the qualifying.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s race, Lowe added: “We’re hoping for a dry race tomorrow and looking forward to a great contest in this theatre of our sport.

“We hope to put on a good show for the passionate, enthusiastic Brazilian crowd.”


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