Hamilton leads all-McLaren front row

McLaren swept the front row for the F1 title decider as title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso ended up fourth and eighth.

McLaren swept the front row for the Formula 1 title decider in Brazil, with Lewis Hamilton denying Jenson Button pole position as championship rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso ended up only fourth and eighth on the grid. Neither Vettel or Alonso looked like they had the pace to fight for pole as McLaren took charge of Q3.

Hamilton and Button were fastest after the first runs, with Alonso in fifth at that stage while a mistake at the Descida do Lago left Vettel only sixth. Both improved on their next runs, but Alonso's gains were only marginal. He held fourth, only to be demoted to eighth as others improved. Vettel was right down in 10th at that stage, but was at least able to salvage fourth.

Meanwhile his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber briefly deposed the McLarens at the head of the order, before Hamilton and Button's final laps thrust them back to the top, 0.055 seconds apart. Behind the McLarens and Red Bulls, Felipe Massa outqualified Alonso for the second time in a week as he claimed fifth.

Pastor Maldonado's Williams and Nico Hulkenberg's Force India also found themselves ahead of the championship contender as they took sixth and seventh. The final top-10 spots went to Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

Michael Schumacher's final F1 qualifying session did not bring much to celebrate. He was only 14th, half a second down on Mercedes team-mate Rosberg. Paul di Resta again struggled to match Force India team-mate Hulkenberg's qualifying form too, ending up missing the Q3 cut in 11th. Also out in Q2 were Williams's Bruno Senna, both Saubers and both Toro Rossos.

Romain Grosjean was knocked out in Q1 in dramatic fashion. The Lotus made contact with Pedro de la Rosa's HRT on the start/finish straight when he tried to squeeze past the slower car as they passed the pit entry.

Grosjean brushed the barriers and was left with a mangled front wing, and although he did make it back out and do a lap that brought him back inside the cut-off, he was pushed down to 18th by Daniel Ricciardo moments later. Vitaly Petrov narrowly beat Caterham team-mate Heikki Kovalainen to 19th, the duo lapping half a second clear of Timo Glock's Marussia.

Despite weather dominating conversation this weekend, the only rain of the afternoon came half an hour before the session. That meant early Q1 laps were on intermediates, but the track was fully dry before the opening segment was over.

 

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time           Gap   
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m12.458s
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m12.513s   + 0.055
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m12.581s   + 0.123
 4.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m12.760s   + 0.302
 5.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m12.987s   + 0.529
 6.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m13.174s   + 0.716
 7.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m13.206s   + 0.748
 8.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m13.253s   + 0.795
 9.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m13.298s   + 0.840
10.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m13.489s   + 1.031
Q2 cut-off time: 1m14.048s                                   Gap **
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m14.121s   + 0.912
12.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m14.219s   + 1.010
13.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m14.234s   + 1.025
14.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m14.334s   + 1.125
15.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m14.380s   + 1.171
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m14.574s   + 1.365
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m14.619s   + 1.410
Q1 cut-off time: 1m16.744s                                    Gap *
18.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m16.967s   + 1.892
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m17.073s   + 1.998
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m17.086s   + 2.011
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m17.508s   + 2.433
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m18.104s   + 3.029
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m19.576s   + 4.501
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m19.699s   + 4.624

107% time: 1m20.330s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Copyright (c) Autosport. All rights reserved.
We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
What's in this issue?

comments powered by Disqus

notSet

Trending Now
Latest News
Maruti Vitara Brezza, TVS Apache RTR 200 win big at Autocar India Awards 2017
The Vitara Brezza walks away as the 2017 Car of the Year; Apache RTR 200 is...
10 hours ago   3 pictures
Ford EcoSport Platinum edition launched at Rs 10.39 lakh
Platinum edition gets 17-inch alloy wheels, 8.0-inch touchscreen...
16 hours ago   2 pictures
Maruti Ignis on display at the Autocar Performance Show
The premium hatchback will be sold via Nexa dealerships; it is powered by...
16 hours ago   1 picture
2017 Nissan GT-R showcased at the Autocar Performance Show
The sportscar is powered by a 570hp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6; does 0-100kph...
17 hours ago   1 picture
Ford Mustang showcased at Autocar Performance show 2017
The muscle car will be showcased from January 19-22; it comes with a...
17 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
When seated at the rear do you buckle up?



or View results
Always
  19%
 
Sometimes
  28%
 
Never
  53%
TOTAL VOTES: 348

Vote now
View previous Polls »