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Lewis Hamilton takes F1 pole in Brazil

AAP logoAAP 12/11/2016

Daniel Ricciardo is looking forward to a wet Brazilian Grand Prix after qualifying sixth behind Lewis Hamilton who stormed to pole position.

Joining the triple Formula One world champion Hamilton on the front row for Sunday's (Monday AEDT) race is Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg.

On a damp and overcast Sao Paulo Saturday afternoon, it was the 60th pole of the Briton's career, eight short of Michael Schumacher's record, and his first in Brazil since 2012 when he was at McLaren.

With his title on the line, it was also one of Hamilton's most important in a roller-coaster season marked by mechanical setbacks.

Australian Ricciardo was disappointed with his qualifying effort but hopes the forecast rain will arrive on raceday to spice things up.

"Today it was teasing .. it was like little dusts of rain but tomorrow, hopefully it's a bit more of a downpour," Ricciardo said.

"I think it will give the viewers a bit more of an opportunity to see a good race.

"Nothing is guaranteed that if it rains it will be quick but I think we'll have a lot more of a race on our hands."

Rosberg will take his first championship if he wins the penultimate race of the season but Hamilton, 19 points adrift, showed he will do all he can to take the fight down to the wire in Abu Dhabi with another dominant qualifying display.

"This is the best I could have hoped for really coming into Brazil. It's always a track that I struggled at," said Hamilton, who has never won at the bowl-like anti-clockwise Interlagos circuit.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified third with Red Bull's Max Verstappen joining the 2007 world champion on the second row of the grid.

Ferrari and Red Bull also shared the third row with Sebastian Vettel qualifying fifth ahead of a race that could well be wet, with showers forecast.

The pole was a record 19th in 20 races this season for Mercedes.

Rosberg, winner from pole in Brazil for the past two seasons, was quicker than Hamilton at the first split on his final lap but then faded to finish with a best of 1:10.838.

"It was exciting qualifying, very close and Lewis was just marginally quicker in the end," Rosberg said.

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