Vettel Splashes To Another Pole In Brazil
Sebastian Vettel will start from pole in his quest for a record-tying ninth consecutive victory after dominating the final qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Saturday.
Lewis Hamilton turned the fastest lap for Mercedes during the soggy opening qualifying session with a lap of 1:25.242.
It was still raining for Q2, which was slightly wetter. This time it was Lotus’ Romain Grosjean who set the pace with a lap of 1:26.161 — three-tenths up on Vettel.
The rain did not abate for Q3, but the start was delayed, initially by 10 minutes due to the adverse conditions and the Mercedes medical car was sent out to conduct a track assessment. Eventually it was announced that the session would restart after around a 45-minute delay.
Everyone went out on full wets at the start of Q3, but while everyone else opted to complete a timed lap, Grosjean came straight in and switched to intermediates.
It proved a good move as the Frenchman immediately displaced Vettel’s early best of 1:28.830 by banging in a 1:27.773. That didn’t last, however. With everyone now on intermediates, Mark Webber did 1:27.623 before Vettel beat that with 1:26.479.
It was Vettel’s ninth pole of the season and the 45th of his career.
“It took a long time for us to get out,” Vettel said. “There was a lot of rain after Q2, already at the end of Q2. Yeah, we need to wait. If there’s too much water it’s a shame for the people who wait for us to come out, but there’s too much water and the risk of aquaplaning is too high. So it took a long time and then got out. I was surprised by how much of the water had gone. I went straight on intermediates and was able to get a very, very good lap in straight away. Tried again in the second to beat that. It was very close, so with both my laps I was very happy.”
Nico Rosberg wound up second with Fernando Alonso and Webber following. Hamilton was fifth.
“Everything went to plan,” said Rosberg. “It’s always extremely tough in these conditions because it’s just all over the place and you need to make sure you don’t get caught out. But the whole team, we all did a good job and perfect strategy also in the end doing those two consecutive laps with the inter, got a good lap together, so happy with that. Surprised about the gap to Sebastian, that’s very big. Definitely would have been difficult, even getting everything perfect to come close to him. That’s fine. Optimum we’re second place and got that, so it’s OK. It’s a great place to start tomorrow – front row of the grid.”