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Brazil GP: Hamilton beats Vettel to pole but both could face stewards

Written by  Nov 10, 2018

Lewis Hamilton edged Sebastian Vettel to claim pole position for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix but both could face the stewards over incidents during qualifying.

In a very eventful session featuring occasional rain both drivers were involved in moments during Q2 that would probably be considered slam dunks for penalties.

Hamilton blocked Sergey Sirotkin approaching Juncao as he almost swerved into the side of the Williams driver, preventing him from setting a competitive time.

For Vettel, his infraction is more severe as, with rain looming, he was called to the weighbridge entering the pit-lane, in a hurry to return to his box, Seb drove onto the scales with the engine still running and then proceeded to drive away "destroying" the equipment according to the FIA, who also didn't get a representative measurement.

In the battle for pole, however, it was a 1m07.281s from the newly re-crowned world champion that gave him almost a tenth advantage over the Ferrari in second.

Their respective teammates followed in third and fourth with Valtteri Bottas 0.015s ahead of his fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

The two Red Bulls rounded out the top six with just 0.002s splitting Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian will drop back to 11th following his five-place penalty after taking a new turbo.

Sauber benefitted from the weird weather and showed great pace to lead the midfield as Marcus Ericsson took seventh, Charles Leclerc's lap to make Q3 though was one of the performances of the session coming when it appeared the track was too wet for slicks.

Romain Grosjean followed in ninth for Haas with Pierre Gasly completing the top 10 in an impressive showing for the Honda-powered Toro Rosso.

Outside the top 10, it was the remarkable lap by Leclerc late in Q2 which knocked out Kevin Magnussen after all had appeared lost when the Monegasque felt heavier rain at Juncao.

The Dane will line up ahead of the two Force India's with Sergio Perez leading Esteban Ocon, the Frenchman will also drop down to 18th after his grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Renault would have a miserable day with Nico Hulkenberg only 14th and Carlos Sainz a casualty of a damp track at the end of Q1 in 16th.

Sirotkin was unable to set a representative time in Q2 after the aforementioned Hamilton incident and will start P15.

Brendon Hartley on his birthday would be 17th with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne 18th and 20th for McLaren and Lance Stroll in between for Williams.

Full result from qualifying can be seen below:

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