Sebastian Vettel – P2
“Max put in a strong lap and so we can be happy with a front row start. I think our performance matched our expectations and it is good that our lap time was reasonably close. It puts us in a good position for tomorrow.
We improved the car, it felt better and it was coming alive in quali, I am reasonably optimistic that we are in good shape for the race, but we will have to wait and see. It is supposed to be a bit warmer and it will be important to look after the tyres and to make the right strategy calls.
It will also be key to get a good start. The weather is unpredictable here in Interlagos, there could be sunshine but it might rain. 71 laps means it’s a long race and I think it will be fun.”
Lewis Hamilton – P3
Despite topping the charts in the final practice session, Mercedes lacked a couple of tenths in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix and the six-time World Champion had to settle for 3rd on the grid.
"It was a challenging Qualifying session. We went in knowing that it was going to be very tight, but in the end we didn’t have the pace to be on pole. FP3 was really strong for us, but once we got to Qualifying both Ferrari and Red Bull had great pace and we were losing out on the straights by quite a chunk. I kept chipping away at it and I think the last lap was as good as it could get for us, I don’t think there was any juice left in the car. I’m happy I got myself into the top three, that makes it a much better challenge for me position-wise to fight for a win. Our long run pace looked strong on Friday, it’s been one of our strengths throughout the year. It’s going to be really hard for everyone tomorrow with track temperatures potentially reaching up to 50 degrees which we’ve not seen all weekend. I’ve been conscious of that with my set-up, so hopefully that works well tomorrow."
It will be an all-silver second row for the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix! 🤜🤛— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) November 16, 2019
Owing to a grid penalty for LEC, VB will start in P4 tomorrow. You won’t want to miss this one! #BrazilGP pic.twitter.com/yN0mdUqCXj
Charles Leclerc – P4 (starts P14)
A bad sector 3 on his best lap in Q3 cost Charles Leclerc to set the fastest time of qualifying today. The Monegasque star was 0.101s up on team-mate Vettel until his mistake at the final corner. Instead of starting a potential 11th or 12th because of his penalty, it’ll be 14th; Leclerc will be starting on the medium tyre.
“It was not the best qualifying. The team gave me a great car and I believe that the potential was there for us to take pole today. I am disappointed about the mistake I made on the last corner of my first lap in Q3, because I lost about three tenths there. It doesn’t change too much though because I will be starting from the midfield tomorrow due to the grid penalty we have received.
We completed some high fuel runs this morning to work on our race pace, as this is where we have the most room for improvement. We will do our best to apply what we learned there tomorrow. It’s good that we qualified on the medium tyres and I hope that we will be able to gain an advantage and pass some of the cars ahead. It won’t be an easy race and I will give the maximum to make up as many places as possible and hopefully fight for a podium.”
Disapointed with myself today. I did a mistake in my 1st lap of Q3 which could have been very close to pole. The team deserved better and I didn't do the job, anyway, not much of a difference as we'll have the 10 places grid penalty for tomorrow.— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) November 16, 2019
📸: @motorsportpics1 pic.twitter.com/wlTYVIQqP7
Valtteri Bottas – P5 (starts P4)
The winner of the previous Grand Prix has struggled a little bit through the weekend and ended up down in 5th. Leclerc’s penalty sees him join his team-mate on the second row for the race.
"It was pretty close, as it always is here in Brazil, but something was missing today. I had a tricky FP3 and was quite a bit behind, but I was getting closer and closer in Qualifying. However, in Q3, it just felt like I couldn’t get much more out of the car. My laps in Q3 actually felt pretty good, there were maybe a few hundreds left to extract from the car, but not enough to challenge for pole today. I’ll still start the race from the second row, so it will be interesting to see what I can do from there. We have a good race car, but the Red Bull looked very strong in the long runs as well, so I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting race tomorrow. Everything is still to play for, so we’ll keep upbeat and look forward to a good fight."
Saturday 🇧🇷🏁— Valtteri Bottas (@ValtteriBottas) November 17, 2019
4th on the grid for tomorrow. Not the easiest qualifying for us but eyes are on the prize 💪🏼
Read about our day @InterlagosTrack:https://t.co/KsWN61xvU6#VB77 #F1 #BrazilianGP #nevergiveup @MercedesAMGF1 @F1 pic.twitter.com/45JT369nxg