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GP Week : Issue 214
QUALIFYING The results may have been disarmingly similar to those of the past few races, with the Mercedes duo on the front row, Williams on the second, McLaren thereabouts, and a Red Bull and the Ferraris in the 10, but there were nevertheless some subtle changes within. Nico Rosberg continued his strong run of qualifying performances, to take pole, but only by three-hundredths of a second. As has become the norm, Lewis was relatively comfortable with that – after all, his race setups and performance have delivered of late, and Nico knew it: "I'm very happy with the weekend so far. The last run in qualifying was not my best but it was good enough to start from pole. And I'm pleased to start from the clean side of the grid, which should be a good thing for me. “With the team I've reviewed why Austin didn't work out perfectly for me and we've done a race simulation already this morning with high fuel levels in the car, so I learned a few things that I can improve and am quite confident I can do a better job in this race.” For his part, Lewis was, quite reasonably, comfortable: “Nico has been quick all weekend and I've been chasing and chasing – but what's important in my mind is that I've been improving with every session and I've found a good balance. Tomorrow is where the points are awarded and anything can happen at Interlagos as we've seen in the past.” There was some role reversal at Williams, with Felipe Massa grabbing third at his home race. He was delighted: "It was a great qualifying for me today and the reaction and energy from the fans was very special and emotional for me. This track has a special place in my heart as I was born here in São Paulo and I always get a lot of support. The car has been feeling really good all weekend and although the Mercedes cars still had more raw pace than us, the gap seems to have closed.” He was right – in the end there was only a couple of tenths between the silver cars and the white ones. It’s getting closer. For his part, team-mate Valtteri Bottas acknowledged Felipe had done a better job on this occasion: "The car has been improving throughout the weekend as the track has rubbered in and we were looking very competitive today, and were quite close to the Mercedes cars. I had a few mistakes in Q3 so I probably left a tenth out there which can make a lot of difference because the lap is so short, but on the whole I'm starting in a good position and we need to be happy with another second row lockout. Subtle changes as the gap to Mercedes shrinks FORMUlA 1 Round 18 BRAzIlIAN Gp – qualifying PoS # DrIver teaM Q1 Q2 Q3 LaPS 1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:10.347 1:10.303 1:10.023 14 2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.457 1:10.712 1:10.056 14 3 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:10.602 1:10.343 1:10.247 17 4 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:10.832 1:10.421 1:10.305 17 5 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:11.097 1:11.127 1:10.930 16 6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:11.880 1:11.129 1:10.938 19 7 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:11.134 1:11.211 1:10.969 16 8 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:11.558 1:11.215 1:10.977 18 9 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:11.593 1:11.208 1:11.075 20 10 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:11.193 1:11.188 1:11.099 18 11 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:11.520 1:11.591 18 12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:11.848 1:11.976 14 13 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:11.943 1:12.099 17 14 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:11.423 9 15 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:12.037 8 16 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:12.040 10 17 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:12.076 9 18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:12.233 7 28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BRAZIL PARTNERS: