Brazil GP Qualifying: Bottas claims pole as Hamilton spins out
Valtteri Bottas has claimed pole for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, in a dramatic session which saw world champion and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton spin out early in proceedings.
Bottas was able to hold off the Ferrari duo of Sebatian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in an intruiging battle where Vettel and Bottas regularly exchanged fastest times.
The session begun in dramatic fashion as Lewis Hamilton dramatically spun out on his first lap of the track, losing control of his Mercedes at turn seven and colliding with the barrier. Luckily, the world champion was unhurt but he will find himself among the penalised drivers at the back of the grid at the start of tomorrow's race.
Hamilton's early departure allowed Bottas the chance to shine, and he set about ensuring the Ferrari duo of Vettel and Raikkonen were kept off pole by firing in a time of 1.08.091, beating Hamilton's previous best from FP2 on Friday.
In Q2 Vettel moved briefly ahead of Bottas with an impressive time, while the suprise was Force India's Esteban Ocon failing to reach Q3, missing out on the top 10 by five one-hundreths of a second.
In Q3 Bottas fired back to break the track record again with a 1.08.442, as his ding-dong battle with Vettel continued. But Vettel immediately responded to move ahead again, while Raikkonen's bid to make the front row red failed as he fell four tenths of a second behind Bottas.
As the rain fell towards the end of the session, Vettel's could not better his time, leaving the door open for Bottas to sneak ahead, claiming pole by three one-hundreths of a second.
Max Verstappen's day ended in fourth spot, with Daniel Ricciardo in fifth spot, though the former faces a ten-place grid penalty, with both of these drivers ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez.
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