Story of qualifying - Sebastian Vettel loses his cool in Brazil

Michael Schumacher Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel Fernando Alonso

"During the second Qualifying session at 15:27hrs, the driver of vehicle number 05, when called for weighing, refused to turn off the engine".

The Brit also came close to colliding with Kimi Raikkonen as the leading teams became less concerned with times and more about tyres, knowing full well that whatever specification was used to set their quickest lap in Q2 would also be used for the start of Sunday's race.

Hamilton's team mate Valtteri Bottas, who was on pole in Brazil previous year, qualified third with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fourth on an all-Finnish second row.

During the episode, FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer said Vettel had "refused to turn off the engine" as is required making it "difficult to get a stable result".

Red Bull's aggressive pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who won in Mexico, will also be a serious threat in a race in which heavy rain has often played an influential role.

"They shouldn't call us", Vettel insisted after qualifying.

The Sauber drivers excelled in the session and claimed seventh and eighth.

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Romain Grosjean of Haas and Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly round out the top 10.

Hamilton and Vettel provided the main talking points of the session, with the former fortunate to escape the immediate attention of the stewards after almost colliding with the Williams of Russian Sergey Sirotkin.

Ferrari trail Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport by 55 points (585 to 530) for the lead of the driver standings heading into the 71-lap race around the 15-turn, 2.677-mile (4.309-kilometer) Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sirotkin turned sharply to his left, narrowly avoiding Hamilton's Silver Arrows, before running over the grass on the exit of Turn 11. No investigation into the incident had been launched at the time of writing.

Charles Leclerc's Q2 lap was something very special indeed.

The Ferrari star qualified on the front row behind the man who beat him to the 2018 drivers" title, Lewis Hamilton, during a rain-hit session at Interlagos, but was subsequently called to the stewards to explain himself after being accused of "destroying' the scales the FIA use to weigh cars during the session.

Vettel said his weighbridge incident had happened because he was eager to get back to the pits. The first qualifying session was punctuated by the fear of a rain storm, with teams sending drivers out early as grey clouds lingered ahead of the session.

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