"I think some of it is still a mystery but I think there are a lot of areas that we have understood", Hamilton said.
"As far as I was aware, no one behind was on a lap so I was making sure I had the gap but then all of a sudden, out of the last corner - sorry, out of turn 11 - I saw a vehicle coming at high speed so I was like 'oh my God, is that someone on a lap?' so I went to move to the left and that's where he made a decision to go but he wasn't on a lap, so I don't really know what his thinking was really, with it, because respectfully, between all the drivers, we all do respect. you know, I could have easily tried to overtake Valtteri or whoever was in front of him".
He beat team-mate Charles Leclerc, who is moving to Ferrari to partner Vettel next season in a swap with Raikkonen, by 0.196secs. Is that someone coming on a lap?' I think collectively, as a team, we did a really good job to get the auto to a comfortable balance.
Hamilton had failed to lead any segment or session leading up to Q3, but had nonetheless looked there or thereabouts at an Interlagos track where Mercedes haven't been off pole position since 2013.
"I think it's the tyre that probably most of us probably wanted to start on but then with the conditions it was a bit tricky [to do it in Q2]. I kind of feel we need to set a lap before they call us on".
"But nevertheless the biggest struggle tomorrow is going to be keeping those tyres alive and not making them blister". The Mercedes driver appeared to block Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin as they both approached the hill at Juncao, where Hamilton famously passed Timo Glock to win his first championship 10 years ago.
"It compromised his track time but we got enough to get some good data".
Alonso is retiring at the end of the season and it is with a whimper that his own career is fizzling out. Horner said it had been damaged in Mexico by a marshal spraying foam on the vehicle after he retired from the race. Lance Stroll was 19th, with the McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne either side of him and set for another hard race from the back end of the grid. "And in Abu Dhabi it will be my last race, we will put in a lot of emotions and a lot of effort and we will be out in Q1 because there are no miracles from one race to another".
He said, however, that it was still tough to find time to switch off and recover.
"The car's been OK, but not good yet so still some work to do", said Vettel.
"Ferrari have been incredibly quick and a lot of work has gone on from my engineers to make sure we have the vehicle in the bets place we could".
"I don't know if I would be doing Valtteri any favours in giving him a win", he added.
Lewis Hamilton clenches his fist after taking pole at Interlagos.