SAO PAULO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — World champion Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix by edging out Sebastian Vettel in qualifying on Saturday.
Hamilton posted a best lap of one minute 7.281 seconds in his Mercedes, 0.093 seconds ahead of his Ferrari rival at the Interlagos track.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth, respectively.
Vettel was reprimanded and fined 25,000 euros for failing to turn off his engine when boarding the weighbridge.
The incident prompted a two-hour delay as stewards investigated him for breaching regulations.
“It was so close between us, we needed 100 percent today, not 99,” Hamilton said. “I was really happy with my lap and I think that we did a great job collectively as a team to get pole today. We had to do a lot of work overnight and the team was faultless with their efforts,” the Briton added.
Vettel said his indiscretion came as he tried to return quickly to the pits to change tyres.
“They shouldn’t call us. When the conditions are changing like that, it is unfair. I wanted them to hurry up,” the German said.
He added: “I don’t want to talk it through. It’s clear what happened. We did qualifying. I think we talk about qualifying.”
Mercedes will clinch the constructors’ title on Sunday if Ferrari don’t outscore them by 13 points.