Lewis Hamilton showed blistering pace to top the qualifying time sheets for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Briton should line up on the front row alongside Max Verstappen for the sprint on Saturday, but Hamilton will be down the grid for the main race after picking up a five-spot grid penalty for taking a new engine.
And the 36-year-old could face further sanction after he was summoned to the stewards over a DRS technical infringement. Jo Bauer, the FIA's technical delegate, referred him after finding an irregularity with his Drag Reduction System on Friday afternoon.
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Hamilton was the only driver to dip under 1:08 - clocking a time of 1:07.934.
“Let’s go,” was Hamilton’s response over the radio after being informed of the first-place finish.
Disappointingly for Hamilton, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was unable to lock out the front row.
Drivers’ championship leader Verstappen split the two Mercedes, with the Red Bull driver crossing the line almost half a second down on Hamilton.
“First, I am so happy to be here in Brazil,” Hamilton, who was also fastest throughout FP1, said. “One of the guys who works here said I should use the Senna colours and flag more often as that is the first pole in a long time.
"A big thanks to the team who have been working so hard coming from the last race. They’ve had to take the car apart and rebuild it. The man hours is insane.
“Today was a good qualifying session, I am super happy with it. We have the penalty, but we will give it everything we’ve got.
“It's not easy to follow here. Max is starting on pole now. It will be hard to catch him, but we will give it everything we’ve got.”
Hamilton will have to come through the pack on Sunday - and avoid any mishaps in the opening corners of the race.
Should he do that, Hamilton will fancy his chances of pulling off the win in Interlagos as his car is seriously quick. The Brit had also set the pace in FP1.
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