Bottas beats Vettel to pole as Hamilton crashes out of Brazilian GP qualifying
Posted By:   |  11 Nov 2017   |  6:47 pm GMT  |  246 comments

Valtteri Bottas snatched pole position for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix from Sebastian Vettel, as newly-crowned Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton sensationally crashed into the wall on his first flying lap in the first qualifying session.

Vettel had provisional pole going into the final run, but he braked too early for Turn 1 and left the door open. Bottas gratefully took the opportunity and managed a 1m08.322s on his final run – a new track record and 2.4secs inside the 2016 pole – edging Vettel by 0.038s to secure his first pole since the Austrian Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen will lead the second row for Sunday’s race, alongside last weekend’s winner Max Verstappen.

Having threatened to be in the fight for pole, Hamilton lost control of his Mercedes on the exit of Ferradura in Q1, collecting the tyre barrier to bring out the red flag.

Hamilton will start from the pit lane, taking a new engine, turbo and MGU-H unit.

His comeback and that of Daniel Ricciardo from 15th on the grid, will be highlights of the race. Strategically Ferrari has the clear upper hand as they can go short with one car and long with the other and Bottas cannot cover both.

It should be an excellent race.


Raikkonen led the way in the first session, setting a 1m09.405s on the soft compound tyres. The two Ferraris were split by Mercedes’ Bottas, who had led the third free practice session earlier in the day.

Setting a 1m09.643s, Vettel also did his best time on soft tyres to save a set of supersofts to give Ferrari more options with regards to tyre strategy in the race.

Home favourite Felipe Massa was perilously close to the drop zone throughout the session, but rocketed up to fourth with a late lap to edge in front of both Red Bulls, who were separated by just eight-thousandths of a second.

Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean and Esteban Ocon all completed the top 10, separated by just 0.1s.

Alongside Hamilton’s first Q1 exit since last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, both Saubers were unable to escape the drop-zone – Pascal Wehrlein outpacing Marcus Ericsson, while Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll qualified in between the two – the latter having missed running in FP3 with a power unit failure.]

There was a welcome boost for Brendon Hartley who made the cut for Q2 in the Toro Rosso. As he has a substantial engine penalty he didn’t set a time in Q2, but did some short runs and practice starts.


The beginning of the second session was peppered with light drizzle, but could not stop the times around the Interlagos circuit from tumbling, with Vettel emerging at the head of the field

Bottas became the first driver to break the 1m08s barrier with a 1m08.901s lap, but managed to take a further two tenths out of his best lap in the dying stages of the session.

Vettel went even faster, raising the bar with a 1m08.494s to set up a showdown with Bottas for pole in Q3.

Verstappen was third fastest, falling four tenths behind Bottas and beating Raikkonen to fourth – who was 0.622s slower than his team-mate.

Daniel Ricciardo bucked the trend by becoming the only driver to run in Q2 on soft tyres, meaning he will be starting tomorrow’s race on a different compound to those around him.

Fernando Alonso snatched sixth late on, dumping Ocon into the drop-zone and emerging ahead of Massa who continued to show strong form at his home race.

Hulkenberg, Perez and Sainz also progressed to Q3 as Stoffel Vandoorne, Brendon Hartley and both Haas drivers joined Ocon in being eliminated.


Vettel set the early pace on the first runs, edging Bottas’ benchmark by 0.082s before the field regrouped in the pits to prepare for their final laps.

Raikkonen was just behind the pair, asserting Ferrari’s dominance over Red Bull by keeping both Verstappen and Ricciardo at arm’s length.

With two minutes left on the clock, the field returned to the track with the threat of rain looming, but thankfully the battle for pole remained unspoiled.

Vettel’s final lap was altogether slower than his first effort, allowing Bottas to step up. Setting the best first sector time of the session en route to pole, the Finnish driver has crucial track position in tomorrow’s race as he and Vettel battle for second in the drivers’ championship.

Raikkonen and Verstappen occupy row two, Perez and Alonso lining up behind them thanks to Ricciardo’s grid penalty.

Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, Qualifying

What did you think of the Qualifying session and what did you make of Hamilton’s crash? Leave your comments in the section below

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Hi James,
I fear that your blog is being dragged down into the gutter by the continual trolling by some commenters. Heaven help if a commenter states that they like/dislike a particular driver … the bile and personal abuse is disgraceful. Many of the long-time commenters will respond with reasoned arguments to refute the initial comments but this just fuels the bigotry and venom of the replies. This is not why I visit your site.
Maybe I’m the only one that feels this way. Maybe you’re happy to get big numbers of comments to each article, regardless of their contents?? If so, that’s fine, i’ll have to go elsewhere, which is a real shame.
I’m not against a bit of banter and sarcasm, we’re not all going to feel the same way about a driver or an incident – i’m happy to hear a different side of the argument and i’ve even been persuaded to change my view on various matters by other comments, but the hate filled comments are getting to be too much.
But, if as i suspect, others feel this way too – can i please encourage you and your moderator team to implement some policies to get the blog back onto its original and preferred track.


Couldn’t have put it better myself Axel.


Ok please call out the culprits and we’ll put a closer watch On them



I’ll kick it off, it’s the childish people who are spoiling the site…. This happened to MCN and the forum is dead. A small handful of idiots turned it into a mud slinging contest between themselves over their favourite riders. Roughly half of forums turn into Hamilton vs anti-Hamilton on here now, and I’m close to switching off again for a while – last done when Sebee monopolised the forum.

On here, and in no particular order at the moment.

TimW, he keeps the trolls going rather than trolling himself I admit.
Avelii and Tornillo – for incomprehensible gibberish half the time, they seem like Beavis and Butthead most days.
Clarks4wheeldrift – he’s just offensive on most posts.
Cheesypoof – who should just be banned immediately to be honest, I think he’s an idiot, and his username is unacceptable nowadays even to a dinosaur like me.
John – the first post here should have been wiped immediately.
Sebee when he constantly repeats about V10s. He’s got a point, but give it a rest. Also when he puts inane drivel in the middle of posts irrelevant to the subject.

Is there no way to add a report as offensive option against posts? I realise it’s time consuming, and costs money to a site that’s free to us though. Or just create a specific place for the Hamilton and non Hamilton fans to have free reign so the rest of us can partake in some decent exchanges on the pertinent subjects.

Anyone who writes “Ha ha” etc or “end of”, or “just saying”. Or “get in there”, or “lights out and away we go”. It’s sheep mentality writing, akin to chanting the same old guff at darts tournaments like sheep.

A few direct emails saying that your contribution is not in keeping with a good forum’s spirit, without specifics, might be enough to modify people’s behaviour.




Did the steering column on that Mercedes, go?

For the ninety degree angles that Lewis was turning that steering wheel, the front wheels were not changing direction as much as I thought they should, if at all.


A little bit of help and clarification of the rules needed here.
LH has had a new engine, turbo and MGU-H unit fitted so will he incur penalties for the final race?


The penalties are handed out for the race start where you use the new engine components. As Hamilton is starting from the pitlane, all in the back, then the penalties are already applied without you may obviously notice it. And not any pending either for the next races going forward.
Much as McLaren incurred a record 105-place grid penalty a few years back at Spa. But such penalties are ultimately meaningless following a rule change which means the maximum sanction is to go to the back of the grid and starting last and all is ‘reset’ from then onwards. ;o)


Just sayin, I think the penalties are all served in this race.


It would be nice to see Bottas win another one. Vettel will probably get him if it’s hot and doesn’t rain. If it does rain anything can happen. I would like to see someone that hasn’t won one.

You know Hamilton’s rear wheels locked too much. With those engines having generator/motors in the rear Hamilton had the settings wrong. Bottas didn’t do that but the track is supposed to be hotter but that place is near a rain forest. He was fast in qualifying. He beat Vettel.

He is getting better.


Normally the comments on this site are better than this.


Maybe just a reflection of a predictable (and thereby boring, little to write about-) Qualifier, except for Hamilton spinning off in Q1?


I am looking forward to the race. Bottas has an opportunity to shine and I hope he does. He did great at the start of the season so hopefully he finishes on a high and with renewed confidence. Unfortunate for Lewis but it happens – he has hardly made any mistakes this season so a major one like this after pressure is off is allowed. Doesn’t seem like rain will be in the cards for the race but hopefully we get some good old fashion gloves off racing. Prediction hope: Bottas/Max/Vettel. However, more likely will be Vettel/Bottas/Max.


A few silly comments about Hamilton I noticed, just because he spun out? A couple of things need to be taken into account. Firstly Merc have decisively won the manufacturers championship. Secondly Hamilton has done the same with the drivers championship, so the pressure is off. It is not uncommon for anyone in high pressure situations to make mistakes when the pressure is off. It’s something we talk to employees in high risk work. People relax let their minds wander at the end of the job because they no longer see the need to put in 100%.
I think Merc have already said they are treating these last few races as testing. I’m not saying this is absolutely true but I think it is a possibility that Hamilton just relaxed a bit to much and made a simple mistake, that’s all.
Also I’m not sure he will bust a gut tomorrow he has no need to. He may just enjoy the racing without any expectations of winning.


Gaz Boy. I’ve never really rated Alonso as highly as some do, but your explanation of what makes him so good was enlightening. He’s still not the best though.


Lance stroll is hopeless. I love williams but they had better get another good driver for next year, stupid deals they have got themselves into havent helped eg. MARTINI 26yr old plus requirement and canadian millions that come with an anchor in the seat.


I actually think the Willams car has been really really good this year. With the new hires of more serious people, especially now with Paddy Lowe as their CTO. Expect it to become even better next year. With long over-due Massa and then a rookie starting in F1 way too soon, no wonder they could not bring it further up the grid. With Strolls money they are stuck with him also next season and its challenging to see which really good lead driver Williams could hire to lead them through 2018 and back to glory. The team and car could be so much more, but they need better drivers!


Good try getting a interview with Hamilton after he crashed James ha


Mr Marmite strikes again Out of the car or just listening to his whining on the radio I just can’t stand him but watching him race under pressure is a joy. So hopefully the race with him cutting through from the back ( with the sound off) should be fun.


He is not the contestant in the big brother house. You can’t vote him out. And do you really want to see him come through the fields 😁😁.


For few seconds, its kind of scary to see lewis motionless after the crash.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Hi James,
What did Vasseur say to make the Honda chief laugh in the principles presser? Must be the first time he laughed all year!


I was amazed on Lewis’s interview afterwards. Thinking how mature and graceful it was, . . . Then, Oh! Wait.


Its great to see Lewis finally helping his team mate, i was wrong about him, but deliberately crashing his car is an extreme way to do it, though he would have been better off in P2 so he could back up the Ferraris.
Just like our lord and savior, Hamilton works in mysterious ways.


The LHFC would like to submit a correction.

“Our lord and savior, Hamilton works in mysterious ways.”

Kind Regards,


Its sad that the LHFC hysteria has gone so far that this kind of comment is even becoming funny!


Not what we wanted. These things happen, all to play for tomorrow. Lewis on a charge tomorrow should be exciting. Excellent pole, Mr Robottas.

Tornillo Amarillo

To show greatness tomorrow Hamilton should win this… I hope, nothing to lose.

A Merc 1-2 even VB winning would be great.

Tornillo Amarillo

Did you all see Hamilton on TV, he was angry with himself and so fast going around to our loved journalist James Allen!


Before Spa, Bottas was only 17 points behind Hamilton.
Something happened.


It’s obvious Lewis wasn’t gonna be in a talking mood after what happened, but what did you try to ask him when he arrived back at the paddock?


James clearly confused him for DR James as we know he would’ve done the right thing and said a few words .


I dunno sars, I remember Dan blanking a kid who wanted his autograph after Dan had had a bad day at the office. Totally fine with me, these are top sportsman we’re talking about. But if we’re gonna put it on a scale, what’s worst, blanking a kid or blanking JA.
I’m sure it’s not the first time Mr Allen has been blanked by a driver. Not sure about the kid🍻


Or the last… 😏


Sars, I’m sure your idol would have done exactly that….


Unlike your fine self Tim I dont idolize anyone. .


Hmm, I recall after Ricciardo binned it in Australia qualifying, as he walking back in the paddock, a kid approached him and DR totally blanked him.

Not really the right thing to do, but understandable in the circumstances.

Of course people always remember it more if it’s Hamilton doing it.


I dont remember RIC saying much about how much he loves his fans, and how the fans are the most important part, he dosent talk himself up to epic proportions.
So DR doing it dosent make him a hypocrite, its the main reason people bring it up about LH i guess


That kids had a Hawks jersey on…
Nuff said!


Clearly the kid shouldnt have said “Hey Lewis, can I have an autograph.”


Was following qualifying on the F1 official lap. During the final run , Ricciardo who was behind Vettel as they left the pits overtook and Vettel appeared to back off to create a gap to Ricciardo.

Did it affect his tyre temperature and compromise his final run ?


Get in there Valterri, great lap from him, I really thought Seb was going to get pole, but Bottas just pipped him. Good job from Massa and Alonso, amusing spat between the Renault and Torro Rosso bosses, did anything else happen? I’m struggling to remember…..


Seb should have had pole, he said it himself. He lost too much time into turn 1.


Krb, they did a side by side comparison on the Sky coverage, it was a big difference. Maybe Lewis should start all the races from the pit lane until the end of the season, will be fun for him, and us.


Sky gave you a shout out, James! I think it was Crofty when Hamilton got back to the pits after his crash.


All the Lewis bashing is very childish. Nobody can ever take away his record as much as the wailers would wish.
I just hope Bottas does the job and Verstappen 2nd.


Tbh it’s only that way because the LHFC is hilariously touchy and sensitive to anything that involves the word Lewis and not followed by “his highness.


Rockman, you may care to look again at the original comments on this thread, are you sure that they are all fair and even handed? Does anyone over react to a pretty run of the mill error from a driver?


I agree with the bashing. Who cares. It will be a cracking race tomorrow. No rain forecasted but we’ve got some fast cars coming through the field and the battle at front should be interesting as well. I heard the RBR race pace especially in hands of Max is very strong unlike their qualifying pace. I expect some fireworks between Seb and Max there as well. Bring it on!


Shame to see rbr back off the pace so much again. 6 tenths for max and a full second for ric even.

I hope it rains tomorrow and that kimi finds some pace to beat seb.

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