Lewis Hamilton starts the final Formula 1 Sprint Race of the season on pole position, beating championship rival Max Verstappen in Brazil.
Hamilton was never headed over all three qualifying sessions and claimed pole with an electric final Q3 lap.
“Today was a really good qualifying. I was super happy,” Hamilton said.
While Hamilton starts the sprint from pole, he has a five-place grid penalty for the main Grand Prix after taking on a new power unit for the weekend.
Verstappen couldn’t seem to post a complete lap. His Red Bull looked twitchy on corner exits and was a fair chunk down on straight-line speed.
“When [Mercedes] take on a new engine, naturally they have more power for the weekend,” Verstappen said.
“So, not a big shock. I’m just happy to be second. That’s a good position to start from.”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner echoed Verstappen’s comments.
“Second was probably the best we could hope for. That fresh engine is definitely pumping out some horsepower for [Hamilton].”
Valtteri Bottas was probably disappointed to not join his teammate on the front row, given how average Verstappen’s Q3 laps were.
Predictably, Sergio Perez ensured it was two Mercedes and two Red Bulls on the first couple of rows.
Pierre Gasly was once again the best of the midfield runners and starts the sprint from fifth.
The AlphaTauri driver heads a Ferrari 6-7, with Carlos Sainz getting the better over teammate Charles Leclerc.
McLaren still seems to be finding their feet, only qualifying eighth and ninth with their two cars. Lando Norris starts in front of Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso is the last driver in the top ten.
Results of the sprint race determine the grid for the main Grand Prix.
The top three runners claim points, with three points awarded to the winner, two for second and one for the driver who finishes P3.