Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg grabbed the pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix by outpacing teammate Lewis Hamilton.
“I am pleased,” Rosberg said after securing his sixth pole position this year.
The German clocked a fastest lap time of one minute 11.282 seconds at Interlagos, the fifth time in a row that he has topped qualifying.
Hamilton, who has already been crowned this year’s world champion, posted 1:11.360, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third in 1:11.804.
“It’s the best place to be. It worked well. I was playing catch up a little bit, but then in the final session I really got going and got some good laps in. It is always nice to end on a high rather than on a low,” Rosberg said.
Hamilton was upbeat about his chances in Sunday’s penultimate race of the season and denied he was lacking motivation.
“It was good today. I got a good balance with the car,” Hamilton said. “Laps were looking quite good, and I just wasn’t able to find that small bit of edge.
“My main job is done this year so it’s not the important thing (winning in Brazil), but it’s my target. Last year I was strong in the race and I hope to carry it through,” he added.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest followed by Kim Raikkonen of Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg of Force India.