Dominant Verstappen takes pole in Sao Paulo
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil (Photo credit: Charles Coates, Getty Images) 

Max Verstappen achieved just his second career pole position after the Dutchman beat the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel following a session of dominance at Interlagos

Verstappen is the man to beat after setting the fastest time in each session of qualifying, redeeming himself for the penalty in Mexico which cost him pole for failing to slow under yellow flags.

The result ended Red Bull's five month wait for a pole, with the last being Verstappen's first ever pole at the Hungarian Grand Prix in August.

Newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton posted his quickest time of the session with his final lap in Q3 and will begin the race in third, 0.191 seconds off the leader.

Vettel's teammate Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest but will face a 10-place grid penalty for changing his engine after suffering a failure at the United States Grand Prix.

Leclerc's demotion means Hamilton's fellow Silver Arrow in Valteri Bottas will start the race in fourth, with Alexander Albon rounding off the top five. 

Q1 - Power issues for McLaren

The warm weather going into qualifying was welcome for the drivers, with a series of accidents in difficult conditions plaguing both FP1 and FP2 yesterday. 

The session got off to the worst possible start for Carlos Sainz, who reported power issues on his out-lap and failed to set a lap time. The McLaren will start tomorrow's race from the back of the field.

Verstappen made an early statement with the 22-year-old topping the pile with a time 0.2s quicker than Leclerc, despite going wide in sector two on his flying lap. 

Nico Hulkenberg, who does not have a drive next season and is seemingly coming to the end of his career, looked to be heading out of qualifying after a double lock-up in sector two, but managed to push himself out of the drop zone.

The Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat could not improve on his time and will start tomorrow's race in 16th. Behind the Russian, Lance Stroll will begin in 17th with George Russell once again out-qualifying his teammate Robert Kubica. 

Q2 - Slow Silver Arrows and a Giovinazzi spin

Verstappen already proved his speed in Q1, but posted a brilliant 1:07.5 to end the session, with the Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas 0.5s and 0.7s behind respectively.

Nevertheless, the Mercedes slow pace was still enough to breeze into the final session of qualifying despite seemingly having issues with the first sector.

The track temperature dropped dramatically during Q2 and many cars were struggling to improve on their times set early in the session.

Leclerc was almost four tenths back from Verstappen in second, but his quickest time came on the medium tyre, with Ferrari anticipating the penalty coming his way.

For the final runs, everybody was out on the soft tyre but laps were affected as double yellows were waved with just 10 seconds remaining as Antonio Giovinazzi spun on his final flying lap and failed to make it into the top 10. 

Lando Norris had a poor session and failed to make it into Q3, with both Renault's of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg also failing to make the grade. Sergio Perez was bottom of the pack in Q2 and will begin the race in 15th.

Q3 - Max on a mission

On the first set of flying laps, the Red Bull and Ferrari's were once again showing speed that the Mercedes couldn't replicate.

Verstappen made a mistake through turn six but still managed to post a time a mere 0.008s ahead of Vettel in second.

It was clear that Verstappen could only improve his time on his final flying lap, and managed to take pole with a 0.123s advantage over the German.

Despite lacking the pace in qualifying so far, Hamilton improved on his time and wedged himself in between the Ferarri's and will start tomorrow in third.

Bottas will lineup next to his teammate on the second row, with Albon finding himself on the third row next to Pierre Gasly, who posted his best qualifying result since Hungary.

Haas had a fantastic day as they put both cars into Q3 for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix in March. Romain Grosjean will start in seventh while his teammate Kevin Magnussen will start in ninth with the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen separating them. 

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