Lewis Hamilton won the pole position for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday, while Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel will start fourth and title challenger Fernando Alonso seventh.
Hamilton set a lap of 1 minute, 12.458 seconds with his McLaren at Interlagos, just .055 in front of teammate Jenson Button. Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber will start third after a lap of 1: 12.581, with Vettel behind him following a run of 1: 12.760.
Ferrari's Felipe Massa was fifth after clocking 1: 12.987, while teammate Alonso only managed a lap of 1: 13.253, hurting his chances of overtaking Vettel for the championship. His lap was only good for eighth place, but he later moved up a spot because sixth-place Pastor Maldonado of Williams was penalized 10 grid positions for not stopping for weighing.
Vettel needs to finish fourth or better today to become F1's youngest three-time champion at age 25. Alonso, also seeking his third title, needs at least a podium finish to have any chance of overcoming a 13-point deficit in the standings.
Vettel said a mistake at the end of the session cost him a chance to start closer to the front, but didn't think the result was "a disaster."
"Maybe it's not the best position that we could've gotten, but still we can be quite happy" he said. "I think there are more people behind us than in front of us. If we were 24th, than that would be disappointing, but I'm happy with fourth and there's plenty of opportunities for tomorrow in terms of tactics."
Hamilton will be driving his last race with McLaren before joining Mercedes next season.
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