Lewis Hamilton was unable to profit from a mixed qualifying hour and was frustrated to qualify in eighth.
The Mercedes driver progressed into the third part of qualifying but, with every driver only able to set one flying lap, he could only set a time quick enough for P8 before teammate George Russell triggered a red flag.
The red flag delay allowed the track conditions to worsen with the intensifying rain, and no driver was able to improve when the session resumed.
Hamilton, along with Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, left the pits on intermediate tyres to assess the conditions, but the result was a foregone conclusion.
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Hamilton regrets Q3 pit lane positioning
Speaking after the qualifying hour, Hamilton cut a disappointed figure as he described the tricky conditions in Sao Paulo, and regretted being one of the last drivers on track in Q3.
"I just went out to see what the conditions are like, but obviously, it was properly wet. So, that's motor racing," conceded Hamilton to media.
"I think it was just difficult. It's difficult to see the conditions, it's difficult to see the raindrops because it's so dark, and I was the last car out [of the pits].
"I think I just got the last part, or the earliest part, of the rain or something.
"I probably lost too much temperature in the pit lane as well, so just a bit unfortunate, but George did a great job, and congratulations to Kevin."
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