Nico Rosberg scored his tenth pole of the Formula 1 season at Interlagos and takes the honour of being the first driver to win the sport’s pole position trophy.
The Mercedes driver edged out his team-mate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton by just 33 thousandths of a second.
It was a frantic qualifying session for that P1 spot, with Rosberg having the advantage by just 29 thousandths on their first runs in the top ten shootout.
Hamilton then improved his lap time on his second and final run, briefly knocking Rosberg off the number one spot.
But Rosberg, behind him on track, then bagged his 14th career pole position a few seconds later.
Williams did look a potential threat for pole position, but after setting the third and fourth quickest times on their first runs, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas failed to improve at the end.
Jenson Button managed a great turnaround for McLaren following a tricky practice session with fifth on the grid ahead of defending world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Button secured that place with his first qualifying run, but did not improve on his second attempt.
This allowed Vettel to potentially challenge him, but the Red Bull Racing driver ended up eight thousandths of a second behind despite finding almost half a second on his second run.
Kevin Magnussen was seventh, just ahead of Fernando Alonso, who completed only one run in Q3 for Ferrari.
Daniel Ricciardo had a lacklustre – by his standards – qualifying and will start ninth, just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez was bumped out of a top ten slot in the final seconds of Q2 when Ricciardo posted his sole flying lap, ending up P11.
He was almost four tenths faster than Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who had a lock-up into the Senna S on his best lap, with Adrian Sutil P13 and last of those to run in Q2.
Daniil Kvyat was classified P14 and did not run at all in Q2.
This is because he has to serve a grid penalty, carried over from Austin where he used his tenth internal combustion engine of the season but did not qualify well enough to serve his complete ten-place drop.
Romain Grosjean narrowly missed out on a place in Q2 for Lotus, falling a tenth of a second short of beating Sutil to the all-important P14.
Three thousandths of a second behind was Jean-Eric Vergne, who complained variously of understeer and oversteer during Q1.
But his struggles were largely a consequence of the fact he could only complete five laps during practice after handing his car over to Max Verstappen in FP1 and then suffering an ERS problem in the FP2.
Sergio Perez was a quarter of a tenth further back after also suffering a dismal practice during which he was unable to take to the track following reserve driver Daniel Juncadella’s FP1 crash.
He has to serve a seven-place grid penalty for wiping out Sutil on the opening lap of last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, meaning he will drop behind slowest qualifier Pastor Maldonado.
Qualifying times, Brazilian Grand Prix:
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m10.023s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m10.056s
3 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m10.247s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m10.305s
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.930s
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m10.938s
7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.969s
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m10.977s
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m11.075s
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m11.099s
11 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m11.591s
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m11.976s
13 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m12.099s
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m12.037s
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m12.040s
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m12.233s
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault No time
18 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m12.076s