Lewis Hamilton grabbed the pole from his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg at Interlagos for the Brazilian Grand Prix for the first time in three seasons.
The two drivers are far in front of their nearest competition, Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Team Red Bull, and a victory by Rosberg would clinch the season title for him, whilst Hamilton is trying to remain in contention for his third consecutive Formula 1 World Title.
The scenario for Hamilton is simple. He must win and Rosberg must finish sixth or better in order to sew things up.
Ricciardo will be starting from the sixth position on the grid, but despite some driving that to some expert observers has bordered on genius, he lacks the horsepower to compete with Mercedes and must rely on misfortune to Hamilton and Rosberg combined with the tight courses on which his driving prowess can accommodate the shortcomings of his equipment.
With only hours betwixt the start of the race and the potentially deciding result of the 2016 season, it may come down to which driver and which team can best adapt to racing conditions that seem to be featuring rain and wet surfaces.