Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Vettel storms to ninth pole of the season
Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel beats Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso to pole
Sebastian Vettel stormed to his ninth pole position of the season in a rain affected qualifying session at the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
The world champion Red Bull driver secured his team’s eighth consecutive P1 place and the 45th pole of his career as he looks to equal Ferrari’s Alberto Ascari 1950’s record of nine straight races wins.
Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg completed an all-German front row of the grid while Fernando Alonso, secure of second place in the overall drivers’ standings, was third in his Ferrari.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber, in the final Grand Prix before a New Year switch to endurance racing, will start from fourth ahead of top ranked British driver Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes.
Vettel praised his team’s quick thinking as they transitioned to intermediate tyres and admitted the track conditions took him by surprise.
“If there’s too much water on the track, the risk of aquaplaning is too high,” said Vettel.
“We got out and I was surprised how much of the water had gone. I went straight to the intermediates and got a good lap straight away. I tried again and was close. I’m happy with both my laps. It’s great in these conditions to get it all right.”
Rosberg was certainly happy with his performance as he goes in search of his fifth podium performance on the season on Sunday.
“It was a good day,” he said, after recording the 16th front row position for Mercedes this season.
“Everything went to plan and the whole team did a good job. We had a perfect strategy in the end on inters. It’s a great place to start tomorrow, at the front of the grid.”
Alonso admits he is already looking to next season after a campaign of obvious frustrations – and admits he won’t mind if race day brings more wet
“Usually we are better in the wet, so we have been waiting for a wet race, but unfortunately it came in the last race of the season,” he said.
“It makes a change to be so far up the grid. Obviously it was not possible to beat Seb who is too far ahead. I lost seven or eight tenths in turn four and I think second could have been possible, but I’m not sad with third. We have an opportunity starting so far up the front.”
Brazilian Grand Prix 2013: Qualifying times
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 26.479s
2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 27.102s
3. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 27.539s
4. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 27.572s
5. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 27.677s
6. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 27.737s
7. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 28.052s
8. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 28.081s
9. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 28.109s
10. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 29.582s
11. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 27.456s
12. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 27.798s
13. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 27.954s
14. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 28.269s
15. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1m 28.308s
16. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 28.586s
17. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 27.367s
18. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 27.445s
19. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1m 27.843s
20. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1m 28.320s
21. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1m 28.366s
22. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1m 28.950s