Lewis Hamilton on pole for Brazilian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton gave McLaren their first pole position in Brazil for 12 years ahead of his final grand prix for the Woking-based team.

With Jenson Button alongside him, the duo combined to give McLaren their 62nd front-row lock-out as they left championship contenders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso trailing in their wake.

Vettel, who has a 13-point cushion over Alonso, will line up fourth as even Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber managed to qualify ahead of him, whilst Alonso is a disastrous eighth in his Ferrari.

Hamilton is currently on a high at the end of his 14-year association with McLaren before joining Mercedes on a three-season contract from next year after winning in the United States last week

Hamilton, yet to win in Brazil, was again brilliant as he posted a time of one minute 12.458secs for the undulating Interlagos circuit.

The 27-year-old edged team-mate Button by 0.055secs, with Webber then ahead of Vettel by almost two tenths of a second.

Felipe Massa lines up fifth in his Ferrari, followed by the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, and then Alonso.

Maldonado, however, missed a weighbridge session at the end of Q1, and could yet be penalised by the stewards, so potentially promoting Alonso at least one place.

The fifth row of the grid sees Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen alongside Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes.

A heavy rain shower 35 minutes prior to the start which lasted for around five minutes caused some consternation, and threatened to turn the grid on its head.

But with air temperatures of 24 degrees, the track was relatively dry an hour later come the start of the second session, which made for a straightforward programme.

Come the end of the middle 15-minute period, hopes for Force India's Paul di Resta of making the top 10 were dashed as the Scot will line up 11th after missing the cut by 0.073secs.

Di Resta starts ahead of Williams' Bruno Senna and Sergio Perez on his last outing for Sauber before joining McLaren, with Michael Schumacher 14th at the end of his final qualifying run in F1 and for Mercedes ahead of retiring for a second time.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, without a seat for next season after the team announced Esteban Gutierrez is to step up, starts 15th ahead of Toro Rosso pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne.

The worst of the conditions were at the start of Q1, throughout which a dry line eventually materialised and the lap times tumbled.

With his future on the line, as he has yet to be confirmed for 2013, Lotus' Romain Grosjean made a critical mistake by clipping the back of the HRT of Pedro de la Rosa, resulting in him losing his front wing, and a stewards' investigation.

Although the Frenchman was able to return to the pits for a new nose and post one final quick lap, it was not enough to lift him out of the bottom seven for the first time this season.

"He (De la Rosa) didn't see me and there was no space to squeeze between him and the wall," said Grosjean.

"It's a disaster for tomorrow because we have a very good car."

It means Grosjean will start 18th ahead of Caterham duo Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen, both fighting for the one remaining seat with the team after Charles Pic was confirmed yesterday.

On his final outing for Marussia, Pic was out-qualified by team-mate Timo Glock, the duo starting 21st and 22nd ahead of the HRTs on the back row, with Narain Karthikeyan in front of De la Rosa.

Hamilton is now looking to end his McLaren days on a high following the 26th pole position of his career, and his first in Brazil.

"It's been a good weekend so far, and I'm grateful to be able to put the car on the front row," said Hamilton.

"To have a one, two with Jenson, that's a fantastic job by the team, I'm grateful for all the opportunities the team have given me, and hopefully we can turn it into a positive.

"The weather is going to be tricky tomorrow (with rain forecast), so it's going to make it more of a lottery.

"But we've put ourselves in a good position, we'll work together as a team, and we'll make sure we do absolutely everything to get the top result."

Button hinted it to be a shame his partnership is ending with fellow Briton Hamilton as he said: "I'm very happy to be on the front row because my last couple of qualifyings have been a bit tricky.

"To both be on the front row for Lewis' last grand prix with the team...the team is in great shape, and it's a pity things have to change, but things do change."

Webber, with Vettel right behind him, refused to concede whether he will play any role in helping the 25-year-old German.

The Australian said: "We focus on ourselves and do the cleanest race we can.

"I'll be focusing on my effort in the cockpit given there will be some tricky conditions."

peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions