Super Vettel takes historic 15th pole in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.

Sebastian Vettel: "Yes baby. We've got it. This feels incredible."

Nov.26 (PVM) Sebastian Vettel broke an almost two decades old record, held by Nigel Mansell since 1992, when he powered to his 15th pole position of the season during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Circuito Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo.

Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme.

Pole winner Sebastian Vettel strokes his Kinky Kylie in parc ferme.

Vettel scorched around an overcast Interlagos circuit in 1 minute 11.918 seconds, the only driver to dip into the 71 seconds zone with a staggering final lap in the session.

The 24-year-old German, who had equalled Nigel Mansell’s 1992 record of 14 in a single Formula One season at the previous race in Abu Dhabi, went a step further in Sao Paulo and etched his name in the record books yet again.

His team mate Mark Webber made it an all Red Bull front row of the grid when he too delivered an impressive lap to finish second quickest, 0.181 seconds down on his world champion team mate.

Clearly Red Bull found some energy and were given wings when it mattered. Record breaker Vettel summed up his history making afternoon: “There has been quite some talk before qualifying about this particular record and the best thing to do was not to think about it at all. We did have a rough start to the weekend where I was not 100% happy with the balance.”

Qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren, third; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing; pole position; Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second.

Qualifying top three (L to R) Jenson Button (third), Sebastian Vettel (pole winner) and Mark Webber (second)

He added, “But we made changes and I was happy. I put everything into my last lap and I was very emotional when I crossed the line because I knew whatever happened I gave it my all. It’s really special. It’s different than other poles. Obviously it took that master Nigel Mansell a couple of races less to do it but it is still very special to me. Now I’m just happy to be here and start from the front.”

Webber said: “I thought qualifying went well. The whole weekend, we’ve been strong. Seb did a good lap and my lap was pretty good which is very positive for tomorrow.”

Red Bulls lockout of the front row will come as a blow to McLaren‘s race hopes, as the Woking squad looked strong on Friday, but 24 hours later Jenson Button was third quickest – 0.365 seconds down on Vettel – with Hamilton fourth fastest, albeit over half a second down off the champ.

Button was focusing on the positive side of his afternoon, commenting afterwards: “I’m enjoying the moment because this is my best qualifying here for the last six years. I always love racing here; it’s such a good circuit for fighting and overtaking. Whatever happens this has been a great season for us but just not quite good enough. Hopefully we can end on a high tomorrow.”

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia.

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest

After ending Friday fastest of all, Hamilton was expecting more from qualifying as he explained: “It’s a little bit disappointing. We’re still on the second row but I would have liked to have been stronger. I’m not too happy with my performance. I just wasn’t quick enough. I was a couple of tenths off Jenson [Button]. The Red Bulls were just massively quick. It’s definitely a place where you’re inspired because this is [Ayrton] Senna’s home. I’ve started fourth quite a few times here. Four is a good number for me. Let’s hope I can turn it into something more positive tomorrow.”

Digging deep, as he has had to do all year with the awkward Ferrari 150 Italia, was Fernando Alonso who will head up the third row after setting the fifth fastest time with his team mate Felipe Massa starting behind him on the grid, in seventh. The Brazilian. sporting a gold helmet for his 100th race for the Maranello squad was half a second down on the Spaniard.

Splitting the red cars was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP who ended the session sixth and will start beside Alonso on the grid, while fellow German Adrian Sutil will start from eighth in the Force India VJM04.

Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP celebrates in parc ferme.

Bruno Senna did a good job to get into Q3

The great Senna/Schumacher names will share a grid row for the first time in over 16 years as Bruno Senna – Ayrton Senna’s nephew – lines up his Renault beside Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes GP on the fifth row of the grid.

Senna was ninth fastest and Schumacher tenth, the seven times world champion opting to save a set of tyres and not do a fast lap in Q3.

Paul di Resta was best of the rookies and will start 11th on the grid alongside the most experienced F1 driver of all time.

Delivering a remarkable performance and ending the session 12th was Rubens Barrichello in the woeful Williams FW33. If this weekend is the 39 year old’s last in Formula 1, then he obviously intends going out in style at his home grand prix.

The session ended as dark, clouds heavy with rain shifted into the Sao Paulo skies, with rain predicted for race day at Interlagos…

Saturday, 26 November – Qualifying

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:13.664 1:12.446 1:11.918 17
2 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:13.467 1:12.658 1:12.099 16
3 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.281 1:12.820 1:12.283 18
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.361 1:12.811 1:12.480 22
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:13.969 1:12.870 1:12.591 22
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:14.083 1:12.569 1:13.050 21
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:14.269 1:13.291 1:13.068 18
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:13.480 1:13.261 1:13.298 23
9 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:14.453 1:13.300 1:13.761 20
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:13.694 1:13.571 No time 18
11 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:13.733 1:13.584 17
12 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:14.117 1:13.801 17
13 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:14.225 1:13.804 18
14 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:14.500 1:13.919 22
15 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:13.859 1:14.053 16
16 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:14.571 1:14.129 18
17 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:14.430 1:14.182 21
18 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:14.625 11
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:15.068 11
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:15.358 14
21 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:16.631 8
22 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:16.890 9
23 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.019 10
24 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.060 10
Q1 107% Time 1:18.410

  • visz963

    This man is legendary.

  • stewy33

    Has Adrian Newey been knighted yet? Taking nothing away from the skill Vettel has, but wow can Newey design a race car.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Puts him(S. Vettel) among the greats if he can pull it all together tomorrow.

    Congrats to the entire Red Bull F1 team.

    N. Roseberg, A. Sutil, And B. Senna, All deserve an “atta-boy”.

  • Sennauno

    Vettel has had more races to get his 15th pole than Mansell did…not a fair record if you ask me

  • http://Thailand Muddles

    @ Sennauno
    I totally agree with your comment. However still well done by the team. Maybe Newey should get some recognition for his brilliance in designing these awesome cars.

  • http://Thailand Bongo

    Maybe it is that he has an older team member in Webber and knows he has to beat the OLDIE. Motivation in another sense. He knows Webber is a great driver, he’s just been hobbled by the team to take Vettel to the front.

  • Darren in Dubai

    I have heard that Chris Evans is pushing for Adrian Newey to be recognised in the New Years Honors List for his contributions to F1 as a designer. I am all for that recognition and hope Chris Evans and his listeners on Radio2 are successful in their feat.

  • Butterfly


    I wouldn’t call ‘great’ a driver that hasn’t been able to get a single start right this year. the man is less than rubbish. massa is way better.

  • http://Thailand Bongo

    @ Butterfly.

    A can of Coke Webber gets a podium and poor Massa fails to impress.

    I am an Aussie and a Webber fan as well, however I still like and admire Felipe.

  • stewy33

    Webbers poor starts have been Red Bulls idea. When Webber gets off the line slow it slows the field up so Sebs can gap the field quickly. As Webber drives back up the field he slows the other drivers racing them wheel to wheel allowing Sebs to get futher ahead. The goal of this is to get Sebs 20 seconds ahead so he can pit in 1st and come out in first. Webber did what his team asked him to do even if RBR will not admit it.

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