Hamilton had been on the pace throughout the session, and was the last to post his first timed lap in Q3, taking provisional pole. But with only one run remaining for all drivers, Rubens Barrichello brought out the red flags when he crashed at turn 5, damaging the left side of his car. Although he was able to emerge unscathed from the crash, the red flag meant the session was effectively over, with just 26 seconds left on the clock.
Hamilton then claimed pole thanks to his initial lap of 1m47.891s, with the rest of the top ten also decided on the first run of flying laps. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took second place alongside Hamilton with a 1m48.204s, followed Nico Rosberg (1m48.348s) producing a fantastic performance in his Williams. The German had gone quickest of all in Q2, setting the weekend’s fastest time at 1m46.197s, but fell back slightly with race fuel in Q3.