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GP Week : Issue 214
QUALIFYING “I'm also happy for Felipe to be starting third at his home race and he had a great reaction from the crowd.” Emphasising the Mercedes engine continued dominance, McLarens were fifth and seventh, the more senior pilot getting the job done this time: "Qualifying at Interlagos has traditionally been tough for me, so I'm happy to be starting fifth,” said Jenson. “After yesterday, I don't think we expected that – it didn't look possible. I didn't enjoy driving the car on Friday – the changes we made for practice compromised the balance - but we solved a lot of those issues overnight, and put the car back to how we'd had it before. “Hopefully, tomorrow's weather will be a little bit mixed - that's the only way we can challenge the cars in front." There were quizzical faces at Red Bull as now regular pace-setter Daniel Ricciardo mysteriously lost pace compared to practice, and in the end squeaked into Q3 and ninth, with Sebastian Vettel managing sixth. Having said that, the margin between fifth and tenth in Q3 was a whole tenth and a half – it’s close back there in the ruck. "The day was going alright up until qualifying and then we lost a lot of pace,” said Daniel. “I went out quite early in Q1 and there was a bit of stuff on the track, so I thought it would get better and better but we didn't find the pace we were after. “I was surprised to get into Q3 after my lap in Q2. I felt better in Q3, but Iwasonlyatenthorso faster; it's bit frustrating. We should have finished better than ninth, we hoped to be in the top five after the pace we had in practice, but hopefully the car will be better in the race." The grande team shutout of Q3 was completed by the Ferraris, in eighth and tenth, Fernando just a tenth up on his tram-mate: "Today's result more or less reflects the way the whole weekend has gone, even if here, a tenth of a second can be the difference between fifth and tenth places. Both compounds worked very well, but I'm sure graining and degradation will give us a hard time tomorrow. It will be a long race and, apart from reliability, the key factor will be tyre management.” Among the rest, Sauber ’s resurgence continued, with 11th and 13th, sandwiching Nico Hulkenberg's Force India, with Lotus again struggling. Would Nico be able to turn qualifying setup and pace into race form? He’d need to to stop the championship slipping away ... FORMULA 1TM GRANDE PRÊMIO PETROBRAS DO BRASIL 2014 71 LAPS ROUND 18/19 << Last Race – United States Last Weekend 1 Next Race – Abu Dhabi >> Two Weeks’ Time FORMULA 1TM GRANDE PRÊMIO PETROBRAS DO BRASIL 2014 QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION 1 – Nico Rosberg breaks the pole position record for this circuit, which has been held by Rubens Barrichello since 2004 (1:10.646). He will definitely finish the season with the most poles, as he was quickest for the 10th time this year in Brazil. 2 – It was the 11th Mercedes front row lockout of 2014, and the 7th in a row. Lewis Hamilton will by buoyed by the statistic that the polesitter has only won 3 of the last 14 Brazilian GPs since 2000, whereas the man starting 2nd on the grid has won 7 times in that same period. 3 – Third place for Felipe Massa is his best start at Interlagos since taking pole position in 2008. This is significant as that was also his last race victory, and should he win this weekend he will break Riccardo Patrese’s record 99 races between consecutive wins (South Africa 1983-San Marino 1990). This is Massa’s 104th start since Interlagos ’08, and the Brazilian’s combined sector 1 and sector 3 times were quicker than Rosberg, only for him to lose more than that in sector 2 (0.358s). Valtteri Bottas starts 4th, ensuring that it is a Mercedes-Mercedes-Williams-Williams top-4 for the 3rd time in the last 4 races. 4 – Jenson Button has only a 3rd top-5 start of the whole year, while Sebastian Vettel was back in Q3 after missing it in both Sochi and Suzuka. It remains his worst start here since he was knocked out in a wet Q1 back in 2009, while Kevin Magnussen starts 7th, also for the 3rd time in the past 4 Grands Prix. 5 – Eighth place for Fernando Alonso is his worst for 9 races, while 9th for Daniel Ricciardo tied his worst performance in a Q3 session this year from Monza (he started 13th in Bahrain after a 10-place penalty). Kimi Räikkönen qualified down in 10th, which is his worst qualifying at Interlagos since he lined up in the same position for Sauber as a rookie 13 years ago. 6 – In contrast, Esteban Gutierrez has his best start of 2014 in 11th place, ahead of Nico Hülkenberg, who maintained his record of always outqualifying his teammates here, but lost his 100% record of top-10 starts in Brazil. Both Romain Grosjean and Jean-Eric Vergne found themselves knocked out in Q1 for the 2nd consecutive race, while Sergio Perez was out in Q1 for the first time since Monaco 2012, ending a 50-race streak of Q1 progressions that was the longest in the field. 29 GPWEEK.com // 29 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BRAZIL PARTNERS: