Lewis Hamilton will start the final race of the season from pole position, having qualified less than a tenth of a second ahead of Jenson Button for a McLaren front-row lock-out in Sao Paulo.
This will be Hamilton's last race for McLaren before his move to Mercedes next year.
Mark Webber managed to outqualify his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, to take third, while the championship leader and reigning world champion will start the race from fourth.
Felipe Massa also managed to outqualify his teammate, Fernando Alonso, for the second weekend in a row. The Brazilian driver will start from fifth on the grid.
Pastor Maldonado was sixth fastest but will start down in 16th, after the stewards handed him a grid penalty for missing the weigh bridge during qualifying. As this was the Williams driver's third reprimand of 2012, it was automatically converted into a 10-place grid penalty.
This means that Nico Hulkenberg inherits sixth place on the grid, and will start ahead of Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg.
Paul di Resta missed out on a spot in the final qualifying session and will start from 10th. Bruno Senna will start 11th, ahead of Sergio Perez, Michael Schumacher and Kamui Kobayashi.
Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will start from 15th and 17th respectively for Toro Rosso.
Romain Grosjean's qualifying session was brought to an early end, when he collided with the back of Pedro de la Rosa during Q1. Grosjean was trying to overtake the HRT on the inside heading towards the start/finish line. He managed to crawl back to the pits for a new nose, but he couldn't improve on his time. This means he will start the race from 18th.
Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen will start from 19th and 20th respectively, ahead of the Marussias of Timo Glock and Charles Pic. Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa will again share the final row of the grid for HRT.
|3||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1'12.581|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1'12.760|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1'13.206|
|10||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1'14.121|
|24||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1'19.699|
107 per cent time: 1'20.330
* 10-place grid penalty for missing the weigh bridge during qualifying