Sebastian Vettel admitted he was surprised by his margin over the field after storming to pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
In a rain-affected session in Sao Paulo, where the final top ten shootout was delayed by heavy rain and standing water, the German blitzed the field to secure his ninth pole of the campaign by more than six-tenths of a second.
It leaves Vettel in the ideal position to push for his ninth successive victory in the season finale but the Red Bull man – who hadn't topped a session all weekend – insisted he hadn't expected to take pole in such dominant fashion.
“The gap to second was a big surprise,” he admitted, “and I was happy at the end of Q3. It was long wait for us to get out on track and there was a lot of rain after Q2. In those conditions, if there is too much water on the track, then the risk of aquaplaning is just too high.
“When we did get out on track, I was surprised how much of the water had gone and we made the switch to intermediates. I was able to get a good lap straightaway and then came close to beating it on my second run.
“I was very happy with laps and it was good to get it all right in those conditions. I was surprised by the margin to second and was happy when I was told how big the gap was. We didn't do much running in practice but managed to get the car where we wanted it to be.”