SAO PAULO: Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position for the season-ending Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix after a rain-hit qualifying session at Interlagos on Saturday.
The 26-year-old German, more than ever in a class of his own, made his 45th career pole – and ninth of the season – look all too easy as he swept round a rain-soaked track with a time of one minute 26.479 seconds.
Nico Rosberg joined his compatriot on the front row for Mercedes, but the 0.623 second gulf between his time and Vettel’s told the real story.
“He was really impressive in that last session there,” said Red Bull principal Christian Horner after a jubilant Vettel had celebrated the pole with a cheer of ‘Ole, ole’ over the team radio.
“To produce two laps that were over half a second clear of the rest of the field in such tricky conditions, what more can you say?”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso equalled his best position of the season with third place next to Vettel’s Australian team mate Mark Webber, preparing for his Formula One farewell before heading off to race sportscars with Porsche.
Webber, who had topped the timesheets in a meaningless final practice with most drivers conserving tyres, was more than a second off Vettel’s pace while Alonso said a mistake had cost him eight tenths.
“I went off at turn four, I was very late and missed the corner,” he explained, saying second place would have been possible but not pole.