Rosberg earns 5th Pole in a row in Brazil, Hamilton 2nd fastest after bizarre week; Vettel P3 for Ferrari in Qualifying
With only two races left on the 2015 F1 calendar and the major championships locked up there are nevertheless still honors to be earned. And despite losing out on the Drivers’ title to his Mercedes teammate for the second year in a row, Nico Rosberg showed that he is still determined to both maintain his second spot overall in the points and finish the season on a strong and positive note. Rosberg earned his fifth pole position in a row on the tricky Interlagos track in Sao Paolo, Brazil, again outpacing his championship teammate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday Qualifying. And while his qualifying has not often enough resulted in equally good results come race day, Rosberg at least has victory in Mexico two weeks ago to help his fragile confidence in dueling with Hamilton for the win come Sunday. To be honest, it seems a bit as if Hamilton has taken his foot ever so slightly off the gas since clinching the title in Austin, an assumption given some credence by his bizarre 3 AM crash in Monaco last Tuesday where he inexplicably hit three parked cars with his Pagoni Zonda. Hamilton, who was said to be suffering from the flu as well as exhaustion at the time, tested negative for alcohol. For certain the British champ will be looking to put that strange and embarrassing incident behind him by getting back to the regular business of breaking his German teammate’s heart when the lights go out, something he had been doing with regularity until recently.
Coming in third fastest on the slippery circuit was Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen able to jump up to P5 with a solid last lap effort in Q3. Williams’ Vatteri Bottas was an impressive P4 but faces a 3-spot grid penalty for passing under a Red Flag in Friday’s practice session #2. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who once scored a pole at Interlagos, continued to show signs of a rebound from his post-Le Mans slump after a good finish in Mexico a fortnight ago. Hulkenberg qualified P6 but his teammate Sergio Perez got bounced in Q2 and could do no better than P13 (though when all penalties are factored in he will start from P11 on the grid). Rounding out the top 10 qualifiers, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were P7 and P9 respectively, while native Brazilian Felipe Massa was P8 for Williams and wunderkind Max Verstappen was P10 for Toro Rosso.
Top 10 qualifiers for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix:
|6||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:12.595||1:12.485||1:12.265||18|
|7||26||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING||1:12.730||1:12.527||1:12.322||20|
|9||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:12.639||1:12.825||1:12.417||17|
|10||33||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO||1:12.824||1:12.712||1:12.739||15|
Tomorrow’s race airs live here in the States at 11:00 AM Eastern on NBC Sports Network. This is your second-to-last chance to catch Formula 1 action this year so hope to see you then!