Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has admitted he must secure pole position to have any chance of stopping team-mate Nico Rosberg winning his first world title at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Hamilton, 1.75 to win the race this weekend, is still fighting for his fourth world title but Rosberg is in the driving seat after a thrilling campaign.
Rosberg will win his maiden World Championship if he wins at Interlagos this weekend while another victory would be his third in a row in Brazil.
While the German has delivered some fine results in Sao Paulo, Hamilton has never won at the famous track.
The Brit won the US and Mexican races to cut Rosberg’s lead to 19 points but he has been troubled by reliability issues all season.
Rosberg has claimed pole in the last two races in Brazil and Hamilton and the rest of the field struggled to pass him around the narrow, difficult circuit.
Speaking ahead of qualifying, Hamilton admits he must finish quickest on Saturday if he is to take the championship battle into the final weekend.
He told Sky Sports F1: “You have to have a really big delta to the car in front here [to overtake].
The last two years I’ve been right up behind the back end of the car in front and it’s been impossible to overtake.
“Position is everything this weekend so l will be gunning for pole position. I’m not looking at anything other than winning the races. It’s a simple viewpoint.”