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Valtteri Bottas on Formula One Brazil pole as Lewis Hamilton crashes out

12 Noviembre 2017
Valtteri Bottas on Formula One Brazil pole as Lewis Hamilton crashes out

Bottas said he felt a responsibility to the team after Hamilton's shock early exit.

Bottas is 15 points adrift of Vettel in the battle over second place in the drivers' standings and will close the gap if he can finish ahead of the German in Sunday's 71-lap race.

Last year in Mexico, a team member, travelling in a chauffeur-driven vehicle from Mexico City Airport to the Mercedes' hotel, was targeted by two gunmen.

The Formula One World Championship might already be sewn up but Lewis Hamilton will start the Brazilian GP from the back of the grid after crashing out within minutes of qualifying starting. It is said that staff from the FIA's governing body and Williams F1 team crew members were also targeted in separate incidents but managed to escape unharmed.

Vettel looked poised to claim a record-equalling third Interlagos pole after leading after the opening runs in Q3, only to fail to improve on his second and final run.

However, Hamilton is marking his fourth world title with a new helmet design this weekend, featuring the No.1 and a fourth star on both the side and the top.

The 32-year-old Englishman remained in his cockpit for some moments before informing his team that he was not injured in the high-speed smash.

With Lewis Hamilton out of qualifying following his crash in Q1, Bottas led the Silver Arrows' challenge for pole in Brazil.

"There are motorcycle teams and riot squads in addition to normal battalions in the area", it said in a statement.

"I'm okay. It happened really quickly". In the end it was all on me and I'm happy I delivered and I could put it on pole.

"I just need to take whatever bubble of negativity comes from that experience and move forwards and try and grow from it". Hamilton has raced with 44 since Formula One first introduced permanent driver numbers in 2014, choosing the double digit because it was the same one he raced with in go-karts.