After becoming the youngest double world champion in Japan and leading every lap in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel continues to set new records with his fifteenth pole position at Interlagos.
To equal Nigel Mansell’s 1992 record with 14 poles is impressive but what Sebastian Vettel has achieved this season is nothing short of remarkable.
The Red Bull Racing driver was quickest in Q2 and in the all-important top ten shootout, Vettel went even faster setting the initial lap time of one minute, 12.268 seconds. On his second run in Q3, the world champion improved with one minute, 11.918 seconds.
Mark Webber made it an all-Red Bull front row, winning a battle over McLaren’s Q1 pacesetter Jenson Button, who overcame his Interlagos qualifying disasters to take third position.
It seemed that Button would be starting the Brazilian Grand Prix on the front row, but in the final few moments of Q3, Webber came through with a time of one minute, 12.099 seconds to snatch the position.
Sporting a Senna-style helmet, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was only fourth with a lap time of one minute, 12.480 seconds.
The Scuderias took fifth and seventh with Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in between Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Rosberg had earlier set a superb time in Q2 with second fastest. His Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher didn’t even bother setting a lap in Q3 in order to save a set of Pirellis and will start the race in tenth.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil took eighth ahead of Bruno Senna, who impressed on home ground to deliver a now rare Q3 appearance for Renault.
Outside the top ten, Rubens Barrichello produced a strong performance to get his Williams up to P12 for what may be his last Grand Prix start.
Paul di Resta and Vitaly Petrov could not match their respective team-mates and will line up in P11 and P16. While the Toro Rossos will share row seven, followed by the Saubers.
Pastor Maldonado was half a second down on his Williams team-mate Rubens Barrichello and was unfortunately knocked out in Q1. He will start in P18.
The new rear wing on the Lotus did not bring the hoped-for Q2 progress, however the team did move a step closer to those ahead with Heikki Kovalainen within half a second of Toro Rosso, Sauber and Williams pace.
HRT managed to get both its cars ahead of Virgin Racing, while Jerome D’Ambrosio outqualified Timo Glock in what could well be his final Virgin outing before being replaced by Charles Pic.
Qualifying positions from Interlagos:
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m11.918s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m12.099s
3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.283s
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.480s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m12.591s
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.050s
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m13.068s
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m13.298s
9. Bruno Senna Renault 1m13.761s
10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time
11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m13.584s
12. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m13.801s
13. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m13.804s
14. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m13.919s
15. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m14.053s
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.129s
17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.182s
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m14.625s
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m15.068s
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m15.358s
21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m16.631s
22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m16.890s
23. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m17.019s
24. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m17.060s
107 per cent time: 1m18.410s