Hamilton edges Rosberg to Interlagos pole


It is advantage Lewis Hamilton at the Brazilian Grand Prix after the defending Formula One champion beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to pole position on Saturday.

Hamilton trails Rosberg by 19 points in the drivers' standings with one race to come after Sunday, and victory for the German this weekend would wrap up a maiden title.

Rosberg won from pole at Interlagos in 2014 and 2015, but will have to do so from second this time around after Hamilton kept him at bay.

The three-time world champion set the pace with his first quick lap of Q3, completing the circuit in one minute and 10.860 seconds, with Rosberg a tenth and a half down as he crossed the line moments later.

Hamilton subsequently shaved 0.124 seconds off his time in the dying moments of the session and Rosberg was once again unable to overhaul the Briton.

The result means Mercedes have set a new record of 19 poles in a single season.

Kimi Raikkonen clinched third for Ferrari, with fifth-placed Sebastian Vettel splitting the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Romain Grosjean qualified seventh for Haas, leaving Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso to complete the top 10.

McLaren driver Jenson Button voiced his frustration after being eliminated in Q1, while Kevin Magnussen suffered the same fate in the week his move from Renault to Haas for 2017 was confirmed.

Williams' strong showing in Friday practice failed to translate into qualifying performance as both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa both missed out on the top 10.

Massa, who is competing in his last Brazilian Grand Prix, starts 13th - his worst grid position at his home grand prix.

Provisional Classification:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 1:10.736secs
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes): 1:10.838s
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari): 1:11.404s
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 1:11.485s
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 1:11.495s
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 1:11.540s
7. Romain Grosjean (Haas): 1:11.937s
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India): 1:12.104s
9. Sergio Perez (Force India): 1:12.165s
10. Fernando Alonso (McLaren): 1:12.266s