Today's post-qualfying press conference with Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Track Interviews - Conducted by Paul Di Resta
Max, congratulations - pole position. It looked like the perfect driver/car combination today; nothing was going to stop you?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, our car was really good. I think throughout qualifying the track temperature was changing a bit so we had to adjust for that, but yeah, straight away from Q1 the car was flying and it was really enjoyable to drive, so very happy with this pole position.
How nerve-racking was it? We saw you make a small mistake in the middle sector on your first run. It still put you quickest but you had to put the final touches on that to try to improve.
MV: Yeah, I tried a different line, but also the track was a bit warmer and that gave me a bit more oversteer and then of course I went a bit wide. The second lap, luckily, was a bit better, so yeah, all; good.
And this track owes you something from last year.
MV: I will of course try to finish to the plan.
Sebastian, second again, narrowly missing out on pole, but I guess you've got to be satisfied that you're on the front row?
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, I had a bit of a wobble in the exit of the last corner on the first run but I think Max improved his time, so fair play and I think it's his pole position. Yeah, happy with the front row. Now we will see what we can do tomorrow. The car has been good. I think it got better throughout qualifying, which was the target. I think we improved it and I hope that we can keep that momentum for the race.
How do you see the race panning out? Do you think you are in the mix to race Red Bull, or do you think they're too quick?
SV: It will be difficult. Both Red Bull and Mercedes look a bit stronger managing tyres, but we are there for a reason: we've got the speed and we've got the power, so let's see what the race brings. I am carefully optimistic. I think it should be a good race.
Great, have fun. Lewis, it was a great battle at the top between three of the big teams. You must be happy where you are, at the same time that you're in the mix for tomorrow?
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, definitely. Congrats to Max, a great lap by him. We seemed quite competitive in P3 and then we seemed to lose going into qualifying, or they gained. But no, nonetheless, I'm very happy that I was able to divide the Ferraris, that's always a tough challenge. We've been down on power, I guess, compared to the others particularly, that's where we lose most of our time. But nonetheless, I guess it absolutely everything that I had and I'm glad at the end, my best lap of the session was my last run - awesome.
On the back of your sixth world title, Lewis, I know this is a pretty special place for you to come. You embrace Ayrton Senna and see the Brazilian fans. What's it going to mean tomorrow?
LH: Yeah, I mean, this is such a tough race to win. The track is very, very challenging and there's so much history here, so every time we come, of course for me... I'm often putting Senna's helmet design on my helmet, just reminiscent... I remember watching him winning here and how crazy the crowd went. But I seem to have a lot of support here, so obrigado to everyone here.
Taking the second pole position of his Formula 1 career, Max Verstappen. Max you couldn't...
MV: You said two; I have three. I consider myself this is my third.
SV: Ah, yeah.
MV: And then Hungary. So this is my third. He said second. This is my third.
We can discuss this afterwards, Max! You couldn't have been more dominant throughout qualifying. Just how good was that final lap of Q3 and how surprised have you been at the dominance of the Red Bull car around this Interlagos track?
MV: I think the last few races have already been quite strong. I think from today we changed the car a but from yesterday and it seemed to work really well and especially in qualifying it really came alive. It had really good balance. Already in Q2 it felt really good.
LH: You turned more power up?
MV: You don't do that through qualifying? And then Q3 I think also the track got a bit warmer, so it was a bit more tricky to get the lap time out of it...
SV: Go ahead...
MV: Why are you laughing?
SV: I'm in a world of my own. You go ahead.
How good was that last lap though?
MV: The last lap was pretty decent. It was alright. There are always things you can do better, but it was good enough.
And you've already touched on the track temperature. Is that how you explain how you were a tiny bit quicker in Q2 than in Q3?
MV: Like I just explained to them, I didn't tuck in on my last run, but I did that in Q2, which gave me two tenths or a one tenth advantage. That's why we had such good top speed.
And Max, are you confident for tomorrow? Do you feel that you have a good race car under you?
MV: Yeah, I guess so. The car already yesterday was not bad. I think today it improved, so normally it should also be better in the race but I guess we have to find out.
Sebastian, just a tiny bit off pole today. Were you pleased with the balance of your car?
SV: Yeah, I was actually. It was getting better. I think we were a bit shy yesterday, more aggressive this morning, which was a step forward, and in quali it seemed to go up and get better - but I think also the track ramped-up, so yeah, obviously it's good to, y'know, get in the front row. I was having a very good first attempt in Q3, went a little bit wide in the final turn - I don't think I was the only one - but yeah, I think Max's second time was a bit far away so I think we have to admit that we got beaten fair and square today. It was a bit of a surprise... not to see them that quick but to see them that quick on the straights. So, a little bit suspicious...
MV: For once it's you then!
And Sebastian, looking ahead to tomorrow, do you think you've got a competitive race car under you?
SV: Yeah, I think so. Obviously we know the race for us is maybe not as strong as quali but I was quite pleased with the balance and we therefore did another long run this morning in practice and it felt much better than yesterday. So that gives me hope for tomorrow.
Lewis, coming on to you, didn't look like an easy session for you - only time in the top three was right at the end of Q3. Could you just give us your thoughts on your car and how the session went?
LH: It's not too often it always goes particularly easy but it was definitely a challenging session. I think P3 was really strong for us and obviously once we got to qualifying, these guys had great pace and we were losing out to Max on the straights by quite a chunk, which is where the majority of the time was coming from but just kept chipping away at it. The last lap was as really as good as it could get really for us. The car actually felt really good, we were just lacking a little bit of pace on the straights but hopefully tomorrow that'll put us in a good position in terms of longevity on the stints. Maybe. Who knows? But otherwise I'm happy to be able to split the Ferraris. It always puts a smile on my face.
Lewis, looking ahead to the race, now that the Championship's in the bag, can we expect any different approach from you or anything different from you?
LH: My approach is pretty much the same all year long but maybe we can try to be a bit more aggressive tomorrow, we can have some fun with these guys - but yeah, I don't particularly see that there's any reason to make any changes. That's ultimately what's got me to where I am today, so I'll just continue with that.
Check out our Saturday gallery from Interlagos, here.