Max Verstappen has conceded a mistake during his only flying lap of Q3 for the São Paulo Grand Prix cost him pole position as the rain turned qualifying into "a lottery".
The Dutchman will start second for the 100km sprint at Interlagos having been beaten to pole by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen as changeable weather conditions and George Russell's Mercedes becoming beached in the gravel played into the Haas driver's hands.
With the exception of Charles Leclerc, nine drivers lined up at the start of Q3 on soft tyres and were able to set a single flying lap before Russell's error at turn four, with rain during the red-flag period preventing any improvement in the final eight minutes.
"We knew that it was going to be that one lap, there was always the potential for rain," said Verstappen. "I was the fourth or fifth car and I locked up into turn eight.
"That cost me pole today but still, compared to the proper opposition for tomorrow it is looking good, in these conditions, anything can happen and we are still up the front which is the most important."
Verstappen's main rivals struggled for pace. Russell still managed to finish third fastest while behind him, Carlos Sainz starts fifth for Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton eighth in his Mercedes and Leclerc 10th after another botched tyre gamble from the Scuderia.
"It was difficult," added Verstappen.
"You have to find the limit of how much you can push but then also, you don't want to have big mistakes and potentially drop out.
"We just stayed calm for Q1 and Q2, then Q3 was a little more of a lottery but nevertheless [we are] still on the front row."