SAO PAULO, Brazil - Two Mercedes will lead off yet another Formula 1 GP in Brazil on Sunday though this time Nico Rosberg will be on pole and Hamilton second. Third will be Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
GETTING UP TO SCRATCH: Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton gets his gear on at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 8 2014 ahead of Saturday qualifying for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP. Image: AFP , Nelson Almeida
It was a dry qualifying for the first time in many years on new tar that had earlier given drivers a perilous time.
The rest of the top 10, in order on the grid, will be Bottas, Button, Vettel, Magnussen, Alonso, Ricciardo and Raikkonen.
The first session of final qualifying (with only 18 cars) was led by Mercedes Nico Rosberg, with team mate Lewis Hamilton about a half-second behind and followed by Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Tail-enders Grosjean, Vergne, Perez and Maldonado dropped out of the running, with Perez due to go to the back of the grid to fulfil a penalty.
BOTTAS CHALLENGES HAMILTON
When they came out for the second stint it was still a battle between Rosberg and Hamilton up front - still by around a half-second - with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso chasing hard and Massa hanging in there - eventually coming through to finish Q2 second behind Rosberg.
He was followed by Bottas who in the last seconds nailed Hamilton down to fourth. Then came Button, Vettel, Raikkonen Ricciard, Magnussen and Alonso. Rosberg's time was 1min10.303, Hamilton 0.409sec slower. Could that turn around in Q3?
Gutierrez, Hulkenberg, Sutil and Kvyat departed.
FERRARIS BIDED THEIR TIME
Q3, and Rosberg took an immediate lead with he and Hamilton close to dipping into 1min09 times with Bottas third for a few minutes until Massa took his place. Both Ferraris bided their time, Alonso and Raikkonen in the garage until there was only 4min10 quali time left.
Rakkonen immediately moved into seventh - only to be pushed back down by Magnussen -Alonso remained 10th.
When the clock ticked off the last seconds Hamilton came through to pole, only to lose it back to Rosberg by 33 thousands of a second.
The final order was Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Bottas, Button, Vettel, Magnussen, Alonso, Ricciardo and Raikkonen.
LAST OF PRACTICE SESSIONS
Earlier, Nico Rosberg completed a Brazilian Formula 1 GP practice hat trick by lapping faster than Mercedes team mate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the third and final session too.
Rosberg was fastest in both Friday sessions, with Hamilton second, and the order on the time sheets was unchanged at a cloudy but dry Interlagos as drivers put in their last laps before qualifying.
The German's best of 1min10.446 on grippy ‘soft’ tyres was 0.114sec faster than Hamilton with the Williams cars of Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finland's Valtteri Bottas third and fourth on a dominant morning for Mercedes-powered cars.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 24 points with two races remaining but 75 points still to be won due to double points waiting at the month-end’s Abu Dhabi finale.
Rosberg will be chasing his 10th pole of the season in qualifying but Hamilton has won the previous five GP’s and has 10 wins to the German's four for the year.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest for Red Bull with McLaren's Jenson Button sixth and finally getting up to speed after a troubled Friday.
The Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso lapped seventh and eighth fastest in a field of only 18 cars due to the absence of Caterham and now-defunct Marussia.
grid for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP
Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes
Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes
Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren
Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renault
Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren
Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari
Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault
Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari
Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes
Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari
Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault
Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault
Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault
Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault
Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes
Result from third practice session ahead of the 2014 Brazilian F1 GPStay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Brazilian F1 GP weekend.
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min10.446
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min10.560
3 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min10.875
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min11.054
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault 1min11.188
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min11.210
7 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min11.316
8 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min11.399
9 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min11.499
10 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min11.834
11 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renault 1min11.967
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault 1min12.069
13 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1min12.184
14 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1min12.235
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min12.235
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1min12.286
17 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min12.324
18 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1min12.942