Boa noite Senhor Mansell
Photo. Reuters/Ricardo Moraes
Staring into history. German wunderkind Sebastian Vettel in his office in the cockpit of Red Bull in preparation for qualifying on Saturday for the season finale, Gran Premio do Brasil.
Sebastian on Pole in Sao Paulo
Driving an Adrian Newey-designed Renault-powered Williams, Nigel Mansell set a season high record for pole positions by setting the fastest time in the streets of Adelaide, the 1992 season finale in land down under.
Fast forward to 2011, and another season finale, the Brazilian Grand Prix. Driving an Adrian Newey-designed Renault-powered Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel wins his 15th pole of the year – and 30th of his still young career – to break Mansell’s record.
Mansell earned his feat from 16 starts. His teammate Riccardo Patrese in Hungary, and the late Ayrton Senna in Canada were the season’s only other winners.
Vettel, the two-time world champion from Germany, took 19 races to claim his latest record. His teammate Mark Webber, in Spain, England and Germany, and Lewis Hamilton in Korea were the only two other drivers to set fastest time in qualifying this season.
The threat of rain during today’s qualifying remained just that. Vettel had the fastest lap and improved on it on his final lap – 1m 11.918s – to stamp his authority. His teammate Webber, with a time of 1m 12.099s and sorry that he “could not look after Nige and get pole” will also start from the front row.
The second row is another team affair. Jenson Button – 1m 12.283s – is third on the grid ahead of Lewis, who clocked the Interlagos circuit at 1m 12.591.
Fernando Alonso qualified fifth and will be a strong contender for victory if it rains on race day which is highly possible. The Ferrari star will share row three with Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes.
Felipe Massa will start his 100th Grand Prix for Ferrari from seventh on the grid, ahead of Adrian Sutil who may be starting his last race as a Force India driver.
Sentimental favorites will share the fifth row. Bruno Senna will start ninth for Lotus-Renault, and Michael Schumacher for Mercedes makes it four German driver is the top five rows.
Scaling new heights. Sebastian Vettel won 18 of 20 races in 2004 Formula BMW Germany. This season he has captured 11 victories, including five of the first six races. A dozen can be in the bag tomorrow in Brazil.
The pole winner said in the press conference, “There has been quite some talk about this pole position record recently. I think the best thing was not to think about it….
“So it’s really special, much different than the other poles I would say. It took Mansell a couple of races less to get the record, but it’s still very special to me. I’m very happy to be here and start from the front tomorrow.”
— Nasir Hameed
Greetings and season finale regards.