• Brazil Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel takes record-breaking pole in Brazil

ESPNF1 Staff
November 26, 2011
Sebastian Vettel took pole position at Interlagos with a lightning fast qualifying lap © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel took his 15th pole position of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix, breaking Nigel Mansell's record for the most in a season and lining up on the front row ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

Vettel looked dominant throughout the session and was the only driver to duck into the 1:11s on his final attempt. Webber couldn't match his team-mate in the first two sectors and was 0.2s down over the course of the lap but ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button. Lewis Hamilton struggled to live up to the promise he showed in Friday practice with the fourth fastest time, 0.562s off Vettel's pole as the forecast rain failed to show up.

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest in the Ferrari ahead of Nico Rosberg, who showed an impressive turn of pace in the Mercedes. Rosberg's Q2 time would have been just enough to beat Alonso but he couldn't replicate it in Q3 and had to settle for beating just Felipe Massa's Ferrari in seventh.

Adrian Sutil also shone in the Force India, setting the eighth fastest time ahead of home hero Bruno Senna, who also put in a very strong showing in the Renault. Michael Schumacher rounded out the top ten, but opted not to set a time in Q3 after just scraping into the top ten shootout.

Paul di Resta just lost out in Q2 to Schumacher and will start 11th ahead of Rubens Barrichello, who showed his class in what could be his final qualifying session of a 19-year career. He got the very best from his Williams at the circuit where he learnt his trade as a teenager and will start in a solid position to aim for points on Sunday. The Toro Rossos were close behind in 13th and 14th while Vitaly Petrov struggled in the Renault but still managed to hold off the out-of-form Saubers.

Pastor Maldonado dropped out with the usual suspects in Q1 as he struggled to get the best from his soft set of tyres and clocked a time slower than his practice effort. Heikki Kovalainen got within 0.4s of the Williams and was 0.3s faster than Lotus team-mate Jarno Trulli. Tonio Liuzzi put in a solid qualifying performance to line up ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and the two Virgins.