Rosberg claims pole by narrowest of margins

Nico Rosberg claimed his 10th pole of the season during an ultra-close Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying session, outpacing Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just three hundredths of a second.

With the predicted rainfall staying away, practice pace-setter Rosberg delivered a record time of 1:10.023 during the final shootout, 0.033s faster than Hamilton.

Hamilton was the first to complete his final run and spent a few seconds at the top of the times, but was ultimately left to rue a sizeable lock-up in the middle sector.

By reclaiming the position as he flashed past the pits, Rosberg ensured that he will be the recipient of Formula 1's inaugural pole trophy.

Williams had to settle for the second row after initially showing signs of challenging the Silver Arrows, local hero Felipe Massa edging out Valtteri Bottas.

Behind the dominant top four, there was a monumental scrap for the remaining positions, with just 0.169s covering fifth to 10th on the grid.

Jenson Button ultimately came out on top, ahead of outgoing World Champion Sebastian Vettel and McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen completed just one run each en route to eighth and 10th respectively, split by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil, completing their penultimate qualifying session as Sauber drivers, could go no further than Q2, sandwiching Nico Hülkenberg's Force India in 11th and 13th.

Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat – who drops to the back with the remainder of his Austin engine penalty – also fell at the second hurdle after opting against a timed lap.

Both Lotus drivers were eliminated in Q1, with Romain Grosjean 15th and Pastor Maldonado 18th. Toro Rosso's Jean-Éric Vergne and Force India's Sergio Pérez also dropped out.

Pérez joins Kvyat on the back row of the grid with his penalty for striking Sutil's car at the United States Grand Prix, a portion of which will be carried over to Abu Dhabi.

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