Vettel wins record-setting pole in Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Sports Network) - Reigning Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel broke Nigel Mansell's 1992 season record of 14 poles by winning Saturday's qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The German won his 15th pole, in 19 starts, by edging his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber by 0.181 seconds around the 2.677-mile Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Interlagos circuit.
The pole win was the 30th of Vettel's career, moving him into sixth-place all- time ahead of Juan Manuel Fangio, just two behind Mansell and three wins behind Jim Clark and Alain Prost. Michael Schumacher holds the all-time mark with 68 pole victories.
"I was very emotional when I crossed the line," said Vettel. "This is really special, different from the other poles. Obviously it took the master in that discipline, Nigel Mansell, a couple races less (14 pole wins in 16 races), but it is historical and very special to me."
During the weekend's practice sessions, there were multiple fast cars with Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Vettel each leading a practice.
Complicating the three qualifying sessions was the chance for rain and a decision for the teams as to whether to use their dry or wet setups for qualifying and Sunday's race. Fortunately, the rain held off from qualifying, though it is expected for Sunday's race.
Meanwhile, Vettel showed his power early in the final qualifying session posting a fast lap with five minutes to go and them became the only driver to post a sub-one minute, 12-second lap in the final seconds of the session.
"We had a rough start to the weekend where I wasn't 100-percent happy with the balance, but we made the right choices overnight and then going into qualifying," said Vettel. "I was already happy with the first run in Q3, but I knew there was more to come and I put everything into the last lap."
Webber, who started on the pole three times this year, will begin the race alongside his teammate on the front row.
"Today's qualifying went well and the whole weekend has been pretty strong," said Webber, who is still searching for his first win.
McLaren-Mercedes teammates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will start in the second row.
"This was my best qualifying for the last six years and 10 places better than last year," said Button. "It's a good start and I always love racing here."
Schumacher, who's Mercedes team decided not to go out in Q3 to allow them the option of different tires to begin the race, will start 10th on the grid.
Without a contract for next season, Brazilian Rubens Barrichello qualified a solid 12th in what might be the final Grand Prix of his 19-year career.
"Its been a tough year with the car that we've had, but when you are home you have to use it to the best of your ability," said Barrichello.
The 71-lap race in Sao Paulo is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. (et).
11/26 12:54:52 ET