Sebastian Vettel storms to pole in rain-hit qualifying

Sebastian Vettel dominates delayed Q3 to claim pole in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel dominates a delayed Q3 to claim pole in Brazil

German driver Sebastian Vettel has put in a stunning performance to crack pole position for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vettel remains on-track for a record-equalling ninth consecutive grand prix victory after seizing the prime spot by a decisive margin in a crippling display of superiority.

The third and final part of qualifying was delayed by 45 minutes as rain lashed the Interlagos circuit, becoming worse towards the end of the 15-minute Q2.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was the best-of-the-rest but still fell .63s short of Vettel’s mark while a resurgent Fernando Alonso gave Ferrari hope for a decent finish to 2013 and will start from third.

Australia’s retiring Mark Weber could not sustain his brilliant qualifying run in recent races and will start from fourth, almost 1.1s in arrears of Vettel’s paralysing lap.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth ahead of Romain Grosjean who had earlier held the top spot as Lotus were the first to bang a set of intermediates on his machine.

Grosjean’s team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was bumped from Q3, by the smallest of margins by Nico Hulkenberg as conditions in Q2 worsened.

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo led both Toro Rosso entries into the top 10 and will start from seventh ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne with Felipe Massa ninth and Hulkenberg 10th.

Earlier Sergio Perez, in his final qualifying session for McLaren, crashed however he will start from 14th, one stop ahead of team-mate Jenson Button as the Woking team complete a season to forget.

See below for full qualifying results

1  Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:26.479s
2  Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.102  +0.623
3  Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:27.539  +1.060
4  Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:27.572  +1.093
5  Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.677  +1.198
6  Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:27.737  +1.258
7  Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.052  +1.573
8  Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.081  +1.602
9  Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:28.109  +1.630
10  Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:29.582  +3.103
11  Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:27.456  +1.295
12  Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.798  +1.637
13  Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:27.954  +1.793
14  Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.269  +2.108
15  Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.308  +2.147
16  Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:28.586  +2.425
17  Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:27.367  +2.025
18  Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.445  +2.103
19  Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:27.843  +2.501
20  Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:28.320  +2.978
21  Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:28.366  +3.024
22  Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:28.950  +3.608



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