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Brazilian Grand Prix 2011: Red Bull’s Vettel takes record 15th pole

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel will be on pole for the 15th time this season after breaking Nigel Mansell's 1992 record

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Vettel claimed a record 15th pole of 2011 at InterlagosPhoto: Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Racing

sebastian vettel

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel broke Nigel Mansell’s record for poles in a season as he secured his 15th pole position of the season in qualifying for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

The double world champion set the benchmark with a time of 1m12.268s before going three-and-a-half tenths quicker to set a time of 1m11.918s to give him pole, just 0.181s ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

“I was happy with the first lap in Q3 but we knew there was more to come. I put everything into the last lap,” Vettel said.

“It was emotional when I crossed the line as I knew I had given it all. Then I had to wait quite a long time to see if the time was good enough or not.”

Despite being on pole for 15 of the 19 races this season, Vettel insisted that it has not been as easy as it might seem from the outside.

“It’s not easy to put it all in one lap,” he said. “All the circuits are different, so sometimes you are not so happy–other times I was happy with what I did or what could do.

“This year I was able to put most of the time everything into that one lap or final run in Q3. There is no secret. Once we go into qualifying we all enjoy it. On the final run you know it is different to a practice run. You are so excited, so nervous as it is the lap. To build up to it is great and after that is like a rush.”

McLaren’s Jenson Button briefly held second place, but will start third after out-qualifying team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was half a second down on Vettel’s time.

Fernando Alonso will start fifth ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who was briefly on pole in Q3, but could only manage sixth when the top drivers switched to the soft tyres.

Felipe Massa was seventh quickest in the second Ferrari, ahead of Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Renault’s Bruno Senna, who continued his impressive run of beating team-mate Vitaly Petrov in qualifying, and Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher rounded out the top 10 without setting a competitive time.

Force India’s Paul di Resta conceded that he just did not have the top speed and had to settle for 11th on the grid, ahead of home favourite Rubens Barrichello, who continued his impressive performance this weekend to start 12th in what could be his last race in a 19-year career in Formula 1.

Brazilian Grand Prix 2011 – Provisional starting grid

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m11.918

2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m12.099 + 0.181

3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.283 + 0.365

4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.480 + 0.562

5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m12.591 + 0.673

6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.050 + 1.132

7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m13.068 + 1.150

8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m13.298 + 1.380

9 Bruno Senna Renault 1m13.761 + 1.843

10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes

11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m13.584 + 1.138

12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m13.801 + 1.355

13 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m13.804 + 1.358

14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m13.919 + 1.473

15 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m14.053 + 1.607

16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.129 + 1.683

17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.182 + 1.736

18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m14.625 + 1.344

19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m15.068 + 1.787

20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m15.358 + 2.077

21 Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m16.631 + 3.350

22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m16.890 + 3.609

23 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m17.019 + 3.738

24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m17.060 + 3.779

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