Hulkenberg takes shock pole in Brazil

Nico Hulkenberg clinched his maiden Formula 1 pole position - and Williams' first since Nurburgring 2005 - in sensational style in a drying qualifying session at Interlagos

Hulkenberg takes shock pole in Brazil

All the frontrunners had changed to slick tyres for their final runs at the end of Q3 and the German unleashed a string of fastest laps to beat Red Bull Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to pole position.

The Red Bulls looked in danger of starting at the wrong end of the top 10 right up until the last seconds, with Webber having gone off with two minutes remaining. The Australian leapt up to second with his last effort, only to be pushed down to third by his team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton briefly held the top spot during the final run but was eventually shuffled down to fourth.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso was another to spend a few seconds up top but will find himself at the head of the third row tomorrow. Rubens Barrichello will start alongside him.

Robert Kubica was one of the first drivers to go out on slicks, though he went off and rejoined before getting his best laps in. He ended up seventh, ahead of Michael Schumacher.

Home hero Felipe Massa only just made it into Q3 and will start just ninth, with Vitaly Petrov completing the top 10.

Jenson Button's already faint hopes of remaining in the title fight were close to eliminated when he failed to make it through to Q3. His final lap of the drying Q2 session was good enough for 10th spot, but Massa was just a few seconds behind and bumped him into the drop zone.

Kamui Kobayashi will start 12th, ahead of Nico Rosberg who missed Q3 for the first time since Spa. Jaime Alguersuari will share row seven with Nick Heidfeld once Sebastien Buemi, who qualified 15th, has taken his grid penalty for crashing into Timo Glock in Korea.

Adrian Sutil was the casualty of Q1, joining the six regulars in the elimination zone. He was swapped that spot during the session with Vitantonio Liuzzi, but ended frustrated after his Force India team-mate spun off the road and spoiled his lap when rejoining. To make matters worse for Sutil, he will take a five-place penalty for his collision with Kobayashi in Korea.

Timo Glock carried the flag for Virgin, beating the Lotuses of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen to 19th spot. Christian Klien out-qualified HRT Bruno Senna, who spun at the end of Q1 and will start his first home grand prix from the back.

Pos  Driver         Team                   Q1        Q2        Q3
 1.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:20.050  1:19.144  1:14.470
 2.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:19.160  1:18.691  1:15.519
 3.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:19.025  1:18.516  1:15.637
 4.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:19.931  1:18.921  1:15.747
 5.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:18.987  1:19.010  1:15.989
 6.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:19.799  1:18.925  1:16.203
 7.  Kubica         Renault                1:19.249  1:18.877  1:16.552
 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:19.879  1:18.923  1:16.925
 9.  Massa          Ferrari                1:19.778  1:19.200  1:17.101
10.  Petrov         Renault                1:20.189  1:19.153  1:17.656
11.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:19.905  1:19.288
12.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:19.741  1:19.385
13.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:20.153  1:19.486
14.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:20.158  1:19.581
15.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:20.096  1:19.847
16.  Heidfeld       Sauber-Ferrari         1:20.174  1:19.899
17.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:20.592  1:20.357
18.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:20.830
19.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:22.130
20.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:22.250
21.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:22.378
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:22.810
23.  Klien          HRT-Cosworth           1:23.083
24.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth           1:23.796

All Timing Unofficial
shares
comments
Q & A: Pirelli boss Paul Hembery
Previous article

Q & A: Pirelli boss Paul Hembery

Next article

Head: Pole gives Williams new impetus

Head: Pole gives Williams new impetus
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge Plus

Why the impact of FIA’s anti-bouncing metric is hard to judge

Faced with drivers complaining about the long-term health effects of car ‘bouncing’, the FIA stepped in to deal with it. JAKE BOXALL-LEGGE explains how the so-called ‘Aerodynamic Oscillation Metric’ works, and asks if it is fit for purpose?

Formula 1
Nov 20, 2022
Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers Plus

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

As Sebastian Vettel’s Formula 1 career has come to a close, figuring out where he fits into the greatest of all time order is a tough and subjective call. With the aid of statistics, attributes and history, here’s how the four-time world champion stacks up in the debate

Formula 1
Nov 19, 2022