Hamilton in heavy Brazil crash, starts from back

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Kimi Raikkonen took third for Ferrari, half a second back from Hamilton at the head of the field, with the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo following in P4 and P5 respectively.

However, he won't be able to catch Hamilton, who wrapped up his fourth world title last time out in Mexico, but Bottas has his sights firmly set on the Brit for 2018. I chickened out a little bit with the brakes. "It was a nice lap and I was so close with Sebastian through qualifying so it was great to get a good lap in". I was already too slow by that point. "For tomorrow let's see what happens".

Pole position means Bottas is now in the best possible place to go about beating Vettel not only in Sunday's race, but also in their battle to finish runner-up to Hamilton in the driver standings.

"It's really good to start on the pole here, we have a good vehicle, it's going to be a close race still with Ferrari, but I'd rather start from pole than, for example, from P3".

The Finn topped the timesheets with a lap of one minute, 9.281 seconds, while Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was just 0.003 seconds behind.

This was Ferrari's most competitive showing at Brazil thus far, though, so qualifying could be much closer-run than it previously appeared.

"Lewis was out at the beginning which is a shame for us, but I stood up for the team".

Felipe Massa started his final home race weekend in good fashion for Williams to lead the midfielders in P7 as both McLarens made the top 10 with Stoffel Vandoorne in eighth and Fernando Alonso in P10. "We have a good vehicle and it's going to be a close race still with Ferrari but I'd rather start from pole than, for example, P3 so I'm looking forward to tomorrow".

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