Felipe Massa upheld his end of the F1 world championship bargain by clinching a third straight pole position for his home grand prix at Interlagos, with title rival Lewis Hamilton 'only' fourth fastest.

Massa needs to win the final grand prix of the season on Sunday with Hamilton outside the top five, and did what he needed to ensure that he can run at the front of the field by twice posting a lap good enough for pole while the rest of the runners in Q3 struggled to keep pace with the Ferrari.

Hamilton slotted into P3 after his first run, but was pushed back by a succession of faster runs elsewhere as he paid the price for too hot an out-lap, but appeared to have learned his lesson second time around as he claimed second spot and appeared to set up a head-to-head with his sole remaining title rival.

The difference then came down to fuel, with the sizeable gap between Massa and Hamilton quickly filled by Kimi Raikkonen and Jarno Trulli, the Italian giving Toyota something to celebrate by starting the final race of the year from the front row, but most likely with less juice on board than Hamilton and those around him.

Heikki Kovalainen took fifth to play rear gunner for his McLaren team-mate, but has the Briton's nemesis, Fernando Alonso, alongside on row three, while the remainder of the top ten is completed by Sebastian Vettel, Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Bourdais and Timo Glock.

Full report and times to follow....


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