World champion Lewis Hamilton has claimed his his 10th pole of
the Formula One season with Daniel Ricciardo to start Sunday’s
race from 11th in his Red Bull.
World champion Lewis Hamilton has given Mercedes their 100th
pole position in Formula One after he edged Sebastian Vettel in
qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Ferrari’s Vettel was fined and reprimanded for a weighbridge
incident but will start alongside the British ace.
The pole, in a rain-affected session at Interlagos, was a
record-extending 82nd of Hamilton’s career and his 10th of a
season that has already seen the 33-year-old clinch his fifth world
“That was a tough qualifying session,” Hamilton said.
“The weather was going up and down and we didn’t really know
what to expect…
“I didn’t know whether or not I had the pole. The last lap
wasn’t that great, if I’m honest.”
Mercedes will seal the constructors’ title on Sunday unless
Ferrari outscore them by 13 points.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was on pole in Brazil
last year, qualified third with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth
on an all-Finnish second row.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fifth with Australian
teammate Daniel Ricciardo sixth but dropping five places
for Sunday’s race due to a penalty for having a turbocharger
“I think we have a good car and in qualifying to be half a
second off pole around here, where from memory we haven’t been
that close in the past, is positive,” Ricciardo told
“We also know from yesterday that we are even better in race
“Obviously, with the penalty I start a bit outside of the
front pack in 11th but I will hopefully make my way through quickly
and have some fun once I join the fight at the front.
“Anyway, whatever happens it’ll be fun.”
Hamilton and Vettel provided the main talking points of the
session, with the former fortunate to escape the immediate
attention of the stewards after nearly colliding with the Williams
of Russian Sergey Sirotkin in the second phase.
Vettel’s summons by the stewards was inevitable after he was
called in for weighing at a critical point in the second phase with
rain threatening, making it crucial to get in an early timed
With a cone barring access to the weighbridge, he drove into it
and then gesticulated angrily for officials to hurry up, before
driving off again in a breach of the regulations – damagin the
equipment in the process.
“They shouldn’t call us when the conditions are changing
like that, I think it’s unfair if somebody gets pulled in. I
wanted them to hurry up,” said Vettel.
Stewards handed the four-time world champion a reprimand for
failing to follow instructions, his first of the season, and a
25,000 euros ($A40,000) fine.