SAO PAULO – Mercedes had mixed fortunes during Saturday’s qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas taking pole position after English teammate Lewis Hamilton was eliminated due to a crash.
Bottas clinched his third career pole in Formula One with a time of one minute and 8.322 seconds in the third and final round of qualifying, just 0.038s ahead of German Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who also will start Sunday’s race from the first row.
Vettel’s Finnish teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, will start from the second row, alongside the Netherlands’ Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who came fourth on timesheets.
Verstappen’s Australian teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, posted the fifth-fastest time in Q3 but will start near the back of the grid on Sunday after being assessed a 10-place grid penalty for an MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit-Heat) change prior to Friday’s practice sessions.
Earlier, Hamilton was eliminated from Saturday afternoon’s first round of qualifying after losing control and smashing into the barriers.
Hamilton was unharmed in the crash, which occurred early in Q1 when he lost control on the Curva do Laranjinha, although his car needed to be removed from the track with a crane.
The Mercedes star – who sealed his fourth world title, and third in the past four seasons, on Oct. 29 at the Mexican Grand Prix – now will need special permission from the stewards to start from the back of the grid in Sunday’s race.