Formula One got the drawn out Driver’s Championship it wanted, which won’t be decided until the last race in Abu Dhabi, and it didn’t even need double points to do it. A trip below the equator turned around more than merely weather patterns, Nico Rosberg throwing his Mercedes AMG Petronas around the Interlagos track faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton every time it counted, beginning with Free Practice 1.
That’s how the German lined up on pole, three-hundredths ahead of the Brit. Two-tenths behind them came the Williams duo, Felipe Massa ahead at his home race, teammate Valtteri Bottas following. Jenson Button made a surprising leap up the grid to put his McLaren fifth, after being “nowhere” during the Free Practice sessions. Sebastian Vettel drove the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing to sixth, ahead of the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, and Daniel Ricciardo in the second Infiniti Red Bull Racing in ninth split the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso in eighth and Kimi Räikkönen in tenth.
When the pedal got put to the carbon fiber on Sunday, Rosberg did his best to make Hamilton earn his position.