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Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2016 Qualifying: Saturday's Results, Times, Final Grid

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2016

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 12:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 12, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton will start on pole at the 2016 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday after topping Saturday's qualifying session with a time of one minute, 10.736 seconds.

Title rival Nico Rosberg will start in second, while Kimi Raikkonen took third place in Q3.

Rosberg had been the fastest in the third and final free practice session on Saturday ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo.

Qualifying Recap

Here is how the drivers will line up on the grid on Sunday, per F1's official Twitter feed:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF #QUALI) HAM edges ROS in the battle for pole Just +0.102s between the two title rivals #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 https://t.co/KsFXTxhWJs

Former world champion Nigel Mansell remarked on the difficult conditions the teams faced:

Nigel Mansell CBE @nigelmansell

The track can be moody in these conditions quick one minute and then slower,timing your run is crucial

Nigel Mansell CBE @nigelmansell

More challenging for tyre pressures as well,this is when great teams have everything covered,so many variations brilliant engineering.

As they had in FP3, Jenson Button, Marcus Ericsson, Esteban Ocon, Felipe Nasr and Pascal Wehrlein struggled in Q1 and were eliminated along with Kevin Magnussen, who slipped from 13th in practice to 18th.

Button expressed his frustration after a promising practice day on Friday:

Formula 1 @F1

BUT: "We were well-balanced and 10th quickest yesterday. Today, it's a totally different car. I'm off for dinner. Tomorrow's another day" https://t.co/whshIzlFTx

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In Q2, Hamilton laid down the gauntlet for the rest of the field, per Pirelli Motorsport:

Pirelli Motorsport @pirellisport

And we’re quicker than last year’s pole now: 1m11.238s from @LewisHamilton. How much will they improve in #Q3?

Local favourite Felipe Massa almost qualified for Q3 with his final lap, only to see Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean improve at the death.

Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Gutierrez, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz and Jolyon Palmer also failed to make the grade.

Hamilton continued his strong run in Q3 to finish ahead of Rosberg, ensuring his 11th pole position of the season.

Raikkonen took third place from Max Verstappen with his final effort, consigning the 19-year-old to fourth on the grid.

A win for Hamilton will bring the race for the title down to the final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi—he's done his chances no harm by securing pole.

    

FP3 Recap

Here are the standings from FP3, per F1:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION @nico_rosberg edges @LewisHamilton in #FP3 Next up, #Quali... #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/8gLFvUFB2Y

Immediately before the start of the session, the heavens opened over the track:

Formula 1 @F1

#FP3 just minutes away And it's starting to rain... 🌧🌧🌧 #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #F1 https://t.co/tTzYHNBn2E

Several drivers, including Raikkonen and Vettel, headed out on full wets, but with no water standing on the track, others preferred slick or intermediate tyres.

Raikkonen quickly set the pace for the rest of the field with an early time of 1:12.530 and was also quickest in all three sectors:

Formula 1 @F1

FASTEST SECTORS (AFTER 25 MINS) Classic Kimi 💪 #BrazilGP 🇧🇷 #Fp3 https://t.co/WMfjPeGx8f

At the halfway point, Hamilton and Rosberg found themselves in the unusual position of recording the slowest times in the field, as noted by Pirelli:

Pirelli Motorsport @pirellisport

If you want to see something a bit different, have a look at the timing screens right now. @nico_rosberg 18th, @LewisHamilton 19th.

Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen would eventually top Raikkonen, but after swapping to a new set of softs, Rosberg was able to clock the fastest time of the weekend thus far.

Hamilton soon followed but found himself just behind his Mercedes team-mate:

Formula 1 @F1

ROS = 💪 A 1:11.787 is the fastest lap of the #BrazilGP weekend so far! HAM (📸) slots into P2, +0.093s shy #FP3 https://t.co/kYEP7YOXEn

Behind them, late flourishes from Vettel and Raikkonen were enough to secure them third and fourth place, respectively.

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