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  • Tenth pole position for Rosberg
  • Hamilton had taken provisional pole on final lap
  • Massa and Bottas abort as Williams runs Mercedes close

Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix by just 0.033s right at the death of a dramatic qualifying session.

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While Rosberg had been quickest in all three practice sessions and both Q1 and Q2, Lewis Hamilton responded in the face of a serious challenge from Williams to take provisional pole with his final lap. With Felipe Massa aborting, Rosberg was down through the second sector but snatched pole by 0.033s across the line.

Sunday will be the tenth time Rosberg has started from pole position this season, but he's only gone on to convert that in to a race victory on two occasions; in Monaco and Germany. As a result, Hamilton won't be too disheartened in P2, but Massa will rue a missed opportunity on his final run.

The two Williams cars were within 0.15s of pole after the first laps in Q3, but Bottas aborted his second run early. Massa was up on both Rosberg and Hamilton through sector one, but his lap fell apart in the second sector and the vocal Interlagos crowd was denied a home pole as he too pitted.

Jenson Button took an impressive fifth on the grid having missed the entire FP1 session on Friday, edging out Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen as all six drivers were covered by 0.169s.

The second part of qualifying saw the two Williams drivers put the pressure on Mercedes, with Massa just 0.040s off the fastest time set by Rosberg, and Bottas also quicker than Hamilton. Alonso scraped through in P10 as five teams - Mercedes, Williams, McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari - progressed.

Daniil Kvyat fail to take part in Q2, dropping out in 14th place as a result. Kvyat also has an engine penalty carried over from Austin which means he will start from the back row. The other three places saw Esteban Gutierrez, Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil eliminated, with Sutil having had an off-track excursion at Turn 12.

Q1 was a very tight affair as less than 0.2s covered Vettel in 13th and Perez in 17th place. While the Red Bull was safely through, it was Sutil who joined him in the last Q2 slot as Romain Grosjean, Jean-Eric Vergne, Perez and Pastor Maldonado all failed to make it through. For Perez, his grid penalty for causing a collision with Sutil in Austin will see him start last.