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Brazilian GP 2014

NOVEMBER 8, 2014

Qualifying Report - Rosberg Reigns

Nico Rosberg, Brazilian GP 2014
© Active Pictures


Nico Rosberg topped every practice session in Brazil and did the same in qualifying as he just beat out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take the pole. Williams teammates Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas filled the second row of the grid.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Centigrade.) The humidity was 64 percent.

The 18 car line-up was as follows: Red Bull Renault‘ Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo; Mercedes ‘ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg; Ferrari ‘ Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen; Lotus Renault ‘ Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado; McLaren Mercedes‘ Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen; Force India Mercedes ‘ Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez; Sauber Ferrari ‘ Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez; Toro Rosso Renault ‘ Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat; Williams Mercedes ‘ Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Qualifying 1

The fans in the grandstands cheered as Sutil steered his car out of the garage and down pit lane. He set the first time ‘ 1:13.401, which Gutierrez broke with a 1:13.116, and which Ricciardo topped with a 1:12.825. But Ricciardo's 2015 teammate beat that with a 1:12.555.

5 minutes into the session, only Vettel remained in the pits.

6 minutes into the session, Hamilton clocked a 1:11.223. Rosberg topped that with a 1:10.693.

9 minutes into the session, Hamilton responded with a 1:10.457. Rosberg responded with a 1:10.347.

Maldonado was 14th and on the bubble with Grosjean 15th. The slowest four drivers would not make the cut to FP2.

11 minutes into the session, Vettel headed out for his first lap.

Alonso was third and Massa fourth.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Button took third.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo was 14th and Maldonado 15th. Vettel had yet to post a time.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel grabbed 12th and Ricciardo ninth. Sutil was now 14th ahead of Vergne. Vettel was now 13th.

The top 14 at the end of Q1 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Bottas, Button, Magnussen, Raikkonen, Kvyat, Gutierrez and Alonso, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Vettel and Sutil.

The four drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Grosjean, Vergne, Perez and Maldonado.

Qualifying 2

First out for the 15-minute Q2 was Hulkenberg. He set a 1:12.306.

Sutil ran wide at Turn 12 on his lap.

Hamilton posted a 1:10.712, and Rosberg beat that with a 1:10.303. Massa was third and Raikkonen fourth.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg was 10th and on the bubble ahead of Gutierrez. Sutil, Kvyat and Ricciardo had yet to set a time.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, the top 10 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Bottas, Massa, Button, Magnussen, Vettel, Raikkonen, Alonso and Hulkenberg.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, most of the drivers started out for their final runs. The Merc teammates stayed in the garage. So did Kvyat and Sutil who did not go out.

As the session wound down, Massa grabbed second and Bottas third.

The top 10 at the end of Q2 were: Rosberg, Massa, Bottas, Hamilton, Button, Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Magnussen and Alonso.

The four drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Gutierrez, Hulkenberg, Sutil and Kvyat.

Qualifying 3

Q3 ran for 12 minutes and first out was Hamilton who had been beaten by teammate Rosberg all weekend.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg set a 1:10.166 and Hamilton a 1:10.195.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Bottas claimed third with a 1:10.305. Moments later Massa beat Bottas with a 1:10.247.

Button was fifth ahead of Magnussen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Alonso. So it was team by team: Mercedes, Williams, McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari.

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, every driver was in the pits preparing for their final flying lap.

Now the action began, and with just over a minute to go, all 10 drivers were on track.

Hamilton set a 1:10.056, and then Rosberg slammed in a 1:10.023 to claim the pole.

Massa, to the crowd's delight, was third, Bottas fourth and Button fifth. Vettel, Magnussen, Alonso, Ricciardo and Raikkonen rounded out the top 10.