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Rosberg just edges Hamilton for crucial Brazilian GP Pole

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Jordan Wilkins, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. After the championship blow Lewis Hamilton struck to team mate Nico Rosberg with a decisive move to win last weekend's United States Grand Prix, the paddock reconvened at the Interlagos circuit in Brazil, for the penultimate race of the 2014 Formula One season.

    With double points for the season finale in Abu Dhabi the title wouldn't be over this weekend, although if Hamilton were to continue his current winning streak to 6 races tomorrow, it's seems realistically barring mechanical issues or contact in Abu Dhabi he would be crowned champion. With plenty of drivers hoping to impress to earn their place in F1 next year, plenty was at stake at the resurfaced Interlagos circuit this afternoon.

    The Q1 session in Brazil got underway with an overcast sky above and initial silence on track, as with the absence of Marussia and Caterham only `18 cars were here this weekend, meaning a quiet opening few minutes of the session for the passionate and immense crowd. Of the initial runners it was the two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Jean Eric Vergne who were setting the pace, alongside the Sahara Force-India of Nico Hulkenberg.

    It didn't take long however for the front runners to show their pace, as the two AMG Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ventured out for their opening laps of the session. Hamilton was first over the line with a scruffy 1m11.223 lap, before team mate Rosberg responded with a quick 1m10.693 lap time.

    After roughly half the session had passed, Hamilton responded with a 1m10.457 lap to go fastest, although Rosberg hit back again soon after with a 1m10.347 lap to firmly cement himself at the top of the Q1 standings. From here he remained on top throughout the session as the normal casualties surfaced after Q1. Romain Grosjean just missed out in 15th for Lotus, with Jean Eric Vergne ruing his missed Free Practice 1 and limited FP2 session in 16th, as Sergio Perez also stepped aside for FP1 and was also eliminated in 17th. Finally Pastor Maldonado completed the field in the second Lotus with 18th.

    Once Q2 began it followed a similar script to Q1, as the initial quietness on track was quickly rectified from the squabbling AMG Mercedes drivers, as once again Hamilton first set a 1m10.702 lap before Rosberg again bested him with a 1m10.303 lap. From here things went quiet again before the final minutes provided some excitement as Fernando Alonso found him on the bubble in 10th and was I'm sure relieved to go through to Q3. Felipe Massa whipped the home crowd into a frenzy as his final lap slotted him between the two AMG Mercedes and was only marginally off deposing Rosberg for fastest time.

    This lap further showed that Williams is looking seriously competitive this weekend, and would be a threat to the two AMG Mercedes in the final 12 minute Q3 shootout for pole. Of those who didn't make it through Q2, it was again the usual candidates with Esteban Gutierrez 11th for Sauber with Nico Hulkenberg 12th in the second Sahara-Force India. Adrian Sutil in the second Sauber was 13th before Daniil Kvyat didn't complete a lap in Q2 and therefore was 14th, although a penalty demotes him to the back row for tomorrow's race.

    Finally Q3 began and the 10 remaining cars trickled out on track, with Lewis Hamilton setting the first lap time with 4 minutes gone in the session. His 1m10.195 was a seriously quick lap, although once again Rosberg pipped him on his first lap with a 1m10.166 lap to steal pole. The two Williams cars were very close behind as both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were hoping to strike a surprise with their final Q3 runs.

    The circuit went quiet again before their final runs, with Kimi Raikkonen finally breaking the silence with his only run of Q3, with a traffic free lap yielding him 7th at the time. From here the final runs proved mirror the earlier run as first Hamilton slightly improved to take pole with a 1m10.056 lap, before Rosberg again just pipped him to pole with a 1m10.023 lap.

    With the threat from Massa and Bottas blunted thanks to mistakes and traffic, Rosberg was free to claim his 10th pole of the year, which wins him the 2014 Formula One Pole Position Trophy. Team mate Hamilton will not be too disappointed with a 2nd place, with the two Williams of Massa and Bottas sharing row 2 in 3rd and 4th respectively.

    Jenson Button was happy with 5th for McLaren, with Sebastien Vettel the first non-Mercedes powered car in 6th for Red Bull. McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen was 7th from Fernando Alonso in 8th for Ferrari, with the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in 9th and Alonso's team mate Kimi Raikkonen rounding out the top 10. Tomorrow is set to be a very interesting race, with the two AMG Mercedes fighting for the win and the two Williams pushing them very hard behind. I for one cannot wait for it. What are your thoughts on this qualifying session?