Brazilian Grand Prix: Bottas takes third career pole ahead of Sebastian Vettel
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News November 11, 2017 Updated: 8:01 PM
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Mercedes driver Valtteri bottas took his third career pole ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel as teammate Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's race from pit lane after crashing out in qualifying.
"It was so close in qualifying, as it always tends to be in Brazil. I knew going into the last run in Q3 that I had to improve if I wanted to be on pole. I could feel and see that I was improving corner after corner. It’s such a good feeling to get everything together in the end," said Bottas.
Bottas beat Vettel by 0.038s with a time of 1:08.322 at the end of Q3. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished third. Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who put on a stellar performance in the wet last year, finished fourth. Sergio Perez took fifth after being moved up due to Daniel Ricciardo receiving a 10-spot grid penalty after the team changed his MGU-H.
“A kind of a mysterious Saturday really. Normally, in past years, Fridays were never good for us and we then improved in Qualifying. Lately Fridays have been pretty comfortable but then on Saturday we often lose out. I think we were better on the soft tyre in Qualifying today but I’m sure something was up with the last set of supersofts I had in Q3 as I had vibrations as soon as I left the pits. That was a bit frustrating because I didn’t really feel I could work with too much out there. We start on the softs so hopefully that helps us tomorrow," said Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso will also benefit from Ricciardo's penalty as he will now start from sixth after qualifying seventh. Others who will enjoy a move up the grid will be the Renault's of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz starting from seventh and eighth. Felipe Massa will try to take full advantage his bump as he will start his final home race from ninth, and Perez's teammate Esteban Ocon will get moved to tenth for tomorrow's race.
Outside the top ten, McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne split both Haas drivers qualifying 12th with Romain Grosjean in 11th and teammate Kevin Magnussen in 13th. Daniel Ricciardo will have some work to do starting from 14th in tomorrow's race.
Pascal Wehrlein will enjoy a move to 15th after Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley received a penalty and will drop down in the order. Lance Stroll qualified 18th but will benefit from Hartley's penalty and start tomorrow's race from 16th despite receiving a penalty for a gearbox change.
Hartley said: "It’s going to be quite a tough ask to finish in the points, but we’re definitely going to try, do our best and push for that – I’m really looking forward to the race!”
Wehrelin's teammate Marcus Ericsson, who will take a small move up the grid after qualifying 19th and receiving a grid spot penalty for a gearbox change, will start 17th. Brendon Hartley's Sunday will be a rough one after he failed to set a time in Q2 and will receive a grid penalty ahead of tomorrow's race starting from 18th.
Pierre Gasly will join his teammate starting from 19th despite qualifying 17th due to a grid penalty leaving him to start tomorrow's race from the back.
Newly crowned champion Lewis Hamilton will get to go all out as he will have to start from the pit lane after losing the rear of his car during the opening minutes of qualifying. With nothing to lose and no pressure, many will get a chance to see the Mercedes driver let loose as he makes his way up the field.