Vettel on pole in Singapore as second F1 title beckons

    Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel celebrates after finishing first during qualifying on Saturday.

    Story highlights

    • Sebastian Vettel wins his 11th pole position of 2011 at Singapore Grand Grix
    • German heads home Red Bull teammate Mark Webber in Saturday qualifying
    • Vettel is hoping to secure his second world title in 14th of 19 races this season
    • Ferrari's Fernando Alonso can deny him by finishing fourth in the night race
    Sebastian Vettel is on track to become Formula One's youngest double world champion after topping the qualifying timesheets for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.
    The 24-year-old headed off Red Bull teammate Mark Webber to claim his 11th pole position this season as he seeks a ninth victory from 14 races.
    That would give him another championship crown -- the first was clinched at the last race of 2010, but this one would be with five to go as he seeks to build on his 112-point lead in the night event.
    Vettel can beat the mark of second-placed Fernando Alonso, who was 25 when he won his second title with Renault in 2006.
    But the Spaniard could delay Vettel's celebrations if he finishes fourth on a testing Marina Bay Street Circuit where he led from the start to win last year from Vettel and Webber -- and also triumphed with Renault in 2008.
    Alonso will have to improve on Saturday's qualifying, where he was fifth fastest ahead of Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa.
    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner downplayed chances of the title being decided this weekend.
    "The moon and stars have got to line up. We haven't booked anything for a party should we win. We're focused on the race," he told reporters in quotes carried by AFP.
    Vettel set the pace in the first two sessions before clocking an unbeatable one minute 44.381 seconds in his only run of Q3 to give Red Bull a perfect record in qualifying this season.
    "I decided to abort my second run when I made a mistake because it is very easy to damage the car so I went wide," he said.
    "I was quite happy with my first lap. I think the circuit ramped up at the end and I think it was possible to go faster, but I'm very happy. It's a very difficult track with such a long lap to get everything right. I think we learned from our mistakes that we made last year."
    Webber then surged into second with 1:44.732 to push past McLaren's former world champions Jenson Button (1:44.804) and Lewis Hamilton (1:44.809).
    Hamilton was unable to make a second run due to a fuel problem, and watched from the pits as his time was beaten.
    Alonso timed 1:44.874 to be well clear of Massa (1:45.800) and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg -- whose legendary teammate Michael Schumacher failed to set a time along with Force India's Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta -- who both opted to conserve tires.