Formula 1


Red Bull’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel will start the U.S. Grand Prix from pole position on Sunday with the German perfectly placed to secure his third Formula One title in succession.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, 10 points behind with two races remaining including Sunday’s and the only man who can deny Vettel the title, set only the ninth quickest time in Saturday’s qualifying.

The Spaniard will move up to eighth on the starting grid, and right behind Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa in sixth, due to a five place penalty imposed on Lotus’s French driver Romain Grosjean for an unscheduled gearbox change.

Alonso, who will have no problems getting ahead of Massa, will however have to start on the ‘dirty’ side of the grid.

Vettel, who dominated all three practice sessions at the sport’s newest venue, will have McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton alongside on the front row.

The Briton, last winner of a U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis in 2007, was just a tenth of a second slower.

“It was a bit closer than I wanted, but fantastic to start on the front and on the clean side,” said Vettel, 25, of his sixth pole of the season and 36th of his career.

Red Bull are set to clinch the constructors’ title for the third year in a row on Sunday and have Australian Mark Webber, Vettel’s team mate, in third place on the grid with Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth for Lotus

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m35.657s
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m35.766s   + 0.109
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m36.174s   + 0.517
 4.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m36.587s   + 0.930
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m36.708s   + 1.051
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m36.794s   + 1.137
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m36.937s   + 1.280
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m37.141s   + 1.484
 9.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m37.300s   + 1.643
10.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m37.842s   + 2.185
Q2 cut-off time: 1m37.404s Gap **
11.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m37.604s   + 1.808
12.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m37.616s   + 1.820
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m37.665s   + 1.869
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m37.879s   + 2.083
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.206s   + 2.410
16.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m38.437s   + 2.641
17.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m38.501s   + 2.705
Q1 cut-off time: 1m38.862s Gap *
18.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m39.114s   + 2.556
19.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m40.056s   + 3.498
20.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m40.664s   + 4.106
21.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m40.809s   + 4.251
22.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m41.166s   + 4.608
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m42.011s   + 5.453
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m42.740s   + 6.182