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Red Bull claims Brazil front row

2011-11-25 20:16

ON TOP: Sebastian Vettel blasted into pole position for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

Gordon Howard, AFP

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Newly-crowned double world champion Sebastian Vettel stormed into the Formula 1 record books again on Saturday when he delivered a stunning fastest lap to secure pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old German became the first man to achieve 15 pole positions in a season when he steered his Red Bull car round the Interlagos circuit in one minute 11.918 seconds.

It bettered the previous mark set by Britain's Nigel Mansell in 1992.

Vettel's dazzling and dominant lap time meant he was the only man to break into the one minute 12 second barrier, his closest rival coming in the form of teammate Mark Webber, 0.181 seconds slower, but fending off competition to secure another all Red Bull front row.

Vettel said: "There has been quite some talk about this record and the best thing was not to think about it at all.

"I am enjoying the moment. I put everything in the last lap and I was very emotional when I crossed the line as I knew that was all I had.

"Really special - it took the master in the discipline Nigel Mansell a couple of races less - and now I am looking forward to the race."


McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were unable to catch the Red Bulls and settled for third and fourth on the grid ahead of Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Nico Rosberg took sixth for Mercedes ahead of local hero Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari and Adrian Sutil of Force India.

Crowd favourite Bruno Senna of Renault secured ninth place ahead of Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes.

The first part of qualifying was frantic as all 24 drivers went out on track from the off in order to secure a dry lap time before the rain.

Button topped the times ahead of Hamilton, followed by Vettel and Webber, but out went Pastor Maldonado of Williams along with Lotus drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo of Hispania and Virgin drivers Timo Glock and Jerome D'Ambrosio.

Vettel was on top in Q2 breezing into the one minute 13 second barrier ahead of Rosberg and Webber.

Both Massa and Schumacher scraped into the top ten with supersoft tyres, the local Ferrari driver taking eighth while seven-times champion Schumacher edged out Paul Di Resta to tenth.
That meant the Force India driver will start 11th on Sunday ahead of local star Rubens Barrichello of Williams.

Jaime Alguersuari took 13th on the grid ahead of his Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov of Renault and Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez who qualified 16th and 17th respectively.

The top 10 shootout saw most drivers easing the heat into their tyres with a couple of warm-up laps before Vettel stormed in with a lap of one minute 12.268 seconds.

As if that wasn't fast enough, he set an higher marker just minutes later breaking into the one minute 12 second barrier leaving Webber and Button to fight for second.

Qualifying times:
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1min11.918
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 1min12.099
3 Jenson Button McLaren 1min12.283
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min12.480
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min12.591
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1min13.050
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min13.068
8 Adrian Sutil Force India 1min13.298
9 Bruno Senna Renault 1min13.761
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1min13.571 
11 Paul Di Resta Force India 1min13.584
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1min13.801
13 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1min13.804
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1min13.919
15 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1min14.053
16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min14.129
17 Sergio Perez Sauber 1min14.182
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min14.625
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1min15.068
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1min15.358
21 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 1min16.631
22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1min16.890
23 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin 1min17.019
24 Timo Glock Virgin 1min17.060


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel ended the final practice session of the Formula 1 season with his name back on top of the Brazilian Grand Prix timing screens on Saturday.

The 24-year-old German, winner in Brazil in 2010 and chasing a record 15th pole position of the season later in the afternoon, was 0.087 seconds quicker than McLaren's Jenson Button with a best lap of one minute 12.460 seconds.

Vettel and Red Bull have already won both this year's championships.

Australian Mark Webber, Vettel's team mate who has yet to win a race this season despite setting more fastest laps than anyone else in the 18 races so far, was third fastest at one of his favourite circuits.


McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, winner of the previous race in Abu Dhabi, ended the session fourth with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fifth.

Conditions were hot, with a track temperature of around 42 degrees, but rain has been widely forecast for Sunday which could make the race more of a lottery.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa, twice a winner of his home race and preparing for his 100th start for the Italian team, was 10th only and had a near-miss with Michael Schumacher's Mercedes in the closing minutes.

Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi failed to set a timed lap.

"We know it's a hydraulics leak. We will try to fix it quickly but it's going to be difficult as we still don't know where the leak is. If we take off the floor to have a look, it'll take at least 15 minutes to get it back on," said the Swiss.

Third free practice times:
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1min12.460sec
2 Jenson Button McLaren 1min12.547
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1min12.597
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min12.622
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min12.765
6 Adrian Sutil Force India 1min13.113
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1min13.286
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1min13.393
9 Paul Di Resta Force India 1min13.419
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min13.583
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1min13.838
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1min14.283
13 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1min14.286
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min14.311
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min14.454
16 Sergio Perez Sauber 1min14.547
17 Bruno Senna Renault 1min14.551
18 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1min15.843
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1min16.026
20 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin 1min16.616
21 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 1min17.143
22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1min17.296
23 Timo Glock Virgin 1min17.984
24 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rossi no time


SAO PAULO, Brazil - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton has followed up his Abu Dhabi victory by setting the pace in the second practice session ahead of Sunday's season-ending Brazilian F1 GP.

The Briton, wearing a special helmet carrying the logo and colours of Brazil's late triple champion Ayrton Senna that will be auctioned after the weekend, lapped the anti-clockwise circuit with a best time of 1min13.392 in the afternoon.

Red Bull's double World champion Sebastian Vettel, who wrapped up this year's title with four races to spare, was second fastest at Interlagos with a lap 0.167sec slower and just ahead of Australian team mate Mark Webber.

Webber, with one last chance to win a race in a year dominated by Vettel, had been fastest in the morning session with a time of 1min13.811.


The Australian has not won since Hungary in August, 2010. He has now gone 25 races without success during which time Vettel, who can set a record of 15 poles in one season if he qualifies fastest on Saturday, has won two championships and 14 GP's.

Button was second on a hot and clear morning, but seventh after lunch.

Felipe Massa, twice a winner in front of his home crowd and celebrating his 100th start for Ferrari this weekend, was fifth and sixth respectively.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who won both of his titles for Renault at Interlagos, pulled over with engine failure at the end of the first session and needed a replacement for the second.

Ferrari said he would not suffer any penalty because the replacement was a previously used engine and within his allocation for the season.

Second free practice times:
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min13.392sec
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1min13.559
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1min13.587
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min13.598
5 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1min13.723
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min13.750
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1min13.787
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1min13.872
9 Adrian Sutil Force India 1min14.144
10 Paul Di Resta Force India 1min14.807
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1min14.856
12 Bruno Senna Renault 1min14.931
13 Sergio Perez Sauber 1min14.970
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min15.019
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1min15.264
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1min15.388
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min15.679
18 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1min15.903
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1min16.298
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1min16.338
21 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin 1min18.031
22 Timo Glock Virgin 1min18.051
23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1min18.367
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT 1min18.476


Red Bull's Mark Webber, with one last chance to win a race in a year dominated by team mate Sebastian Vettel, lapped fastest in first practice for the season-ending Brazilian F1 GP on Friday.

The Australian, whose victory at Interlagos in 2009 was overshadowed by Jenson Button winning the title, clocked a best time of 1min13.811.

Button, who won his title with Brawn and is now chasing his fourth win of the year for McLaren, was second-fastest and a mere 0.014sec slower on a dry and clear morning in Sao Paulo.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton, who won the 2008 crown at Interlagos and has three victories in a troubled 2011 campaign, was third on the time sheets while Vettel was fourth.


Felipe Massa was fifth fastest ahead of team mate Fernando Alonso.

Czech driver Jan Charouz made his debut in Friday practice with the HRT team and was last on the timing screens.

Charouz, who replaced Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi for the session, was one of a handful of drivers in action who will not take part in Sunday's race.

Germany's Nico Hulkenberg, who started last year's race on pole for Williams and is now Force India reserve, was eighth fastest.

France's Romain Grosjean, a favourite for a race seat next year now that Poland's Robert Kubica will not be ready for the season's start, was in the Renault while compatriot Jean-Eric Vergne had a run with Toro Rosso.

Brazilian Luiz Razia was in the Team Lotus.

First free practice times
1 Mark Webber RedBull - Renault 1min13.811s
2 Jenson Button McLaren 1min13.825
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min13.961
4 Sebastian Vettel RedBull - Renault 1min14.025
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min14.507
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min14.541
7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1min15.162
8 Nico Huelkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1min15.178
9 Paul Di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1min15.241
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1min15.321
11 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1min15.468
12 Romain Grosjean Renault 1min15.547
13 Rubens Barrichello Williams - Cosworth 1min15.663
14 Bruno Senna Renault 1min15.732
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber - Ferrari 1min15.747
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams - Cosworth 1min15.836
17 Sergio Perez Sauber - Ferrari 1min15.979
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1min16.052
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus - Renault 1min16.514
20 Luiz Razia Lotus - Renault 1min17.595
21 Timo Glock Virgin - Cosworth 1min18.140
22 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin - Cosworth 1min18.653
23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT - Cosworth 1min18.952
24 Jan Charouz HRT - Cosworth 1min19.577

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