Lewis Hamilton has claimed a narrow pole position in Brazil ahead of Nico Rosberg, who can wrap up the Drivers' title this weekend by winning the race.
If Hamilton loses the championship he'll want to finish the year by dominating his teammate and strengthening his argument that reliability denied him the title.
Speaking of how special a Brazilian win would be, Hamilton said:
"Knowing that this was Ayrton’s home, that always makes it a special event coming here. The track is fantastic, as I said, and the fans are incredibly passionate. It’s quite humbling to see how many people come out for this Grand Prix and how much energy they bring with the music and all the beautiful colours. This is a special race which, as I’ve said, I have not won so that’s my goal."
Finishing second in the final two races will still earn Rosberg the Drivers' title, although he has repeated his mantra of wanting to focus on the race weekend and winning if possible.
Qualifying in P3 was Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen who claimed his final lap was less than perfect, but was clearly good enough to beat Max Verstappen, teammate Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
The mix of Ferrari and Red Bull cars on the second and third row could ensure that there Mercedes drivers have a clean fight.
It has been reported that Mercedes boss Toto Wolff spoke to Verstappen's father Jos to send a message to their competitors to keep their heads cool, and that drivers should fight without taking risks that could see them taking each other out.
Emotions will be running high both on and off the track in Felipe Massa's final time reaching at his home circuit in F1. Having provided the backdrop for several memorable championship deciders, Interlagos could have one final surprise up its sleeve.