Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole in Brazil

Nico Rosberg seized the top spot with a lap just 0.033 of a second quicker than Hamilton.

Mercedes’ German driver Nico Rosberg waves after clocking the pole position for Brazil’s GP tomorrow at the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: AFP.

SAO PAULO - Germany's Nico Rosberg chalked up his 10th pole position of the season on Saturday after beating team mate Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes sweep of the front row in Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying.

Rosberg seized the top spot with a lap just 0.033 of a second quicker than world championship leader Hamilton, who will be chasing his 11th win of the season in Sunday's race at Interlagos.

The Briton leads Rosberg by 24 points with two races, and a maximum 75 points, remaining.

The pole came as no surprise, with Rosberg quicker than Hamilton in every practice session and every phase of qualifying.

Complimented on his "perfect job", the German quickly replied: "Perfect job only if it works out tomorrow. I need to make it happen in the race, unlike Austin.

"I have learned from Austin, I know what I need to do better so from that point of view, I look forward to tomorrow."

The German was on pole last weekend in Texas but Hamilton won the race, his fifth success in a row, after an audacious pass on his team mate.

"Nico did a good lap," said Hamilton, who need only finish second in the last two races to be sure of his second championship.

"I lost a bit of time in turn 10 and maybe a tiny bit in turn one... it's a long race tomorrow and I want to win."

Brazilian Felipe Massa qualified in third place with Williams team mate Valtteri Bottas fourth. McLaren's Jenson Button will line up fifth, the first five places all filled by Mercedes-powered cars.

"It's very emotional to be here in Brazil and have a competitive car," said Massa, whose last victory came at Interlagos in 2008 when he missed out on the title to Hamilton by a single point.

"I didn't use everything I could from the car, I got a lot of traffic on my last run and there were also problems in the garage and I couldn't improve my lap time."

Mercedes have already won the constructors' title and are sure of the drivers' crown, with only their pairing remaining in contention.

Red Bull's quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel was the best of the non-Mercedes drivers with sixth place ahead of McLaren's Kevin Magnussen and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, for Red Bull, and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen filled out the top 10.