Vettel on pole for potential F1 title clincher in Japan

    Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel gestures to celebrate his pole position at Suzuka, as Lewis Hamilton looks on.

    Story highlights

    • Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel earns his 12th pole position in 15 races
    • German needs to finish 10th in Japan to retain his F1 world title
    • He will be the youngest double world champion in the sport's history
    • Second-placed Jenson Button will start second on the grid at Suzuka
    Sebastian Vettel is determined to clinch his second Formula One world championship in style after snatching pole position for Sunday's Japan Grand Prix.
    The Red Bull driver needs just one point -- a 10th-place finish -- to become the youngest double winner at the age of 24, and he made sure he will start first on the grid for the 12th time in 15 races this season.
    The German pipped his closest title rival Jenson Button by just 0.009 seconds in Saturday's qualifying at Suzuka, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton had to make do with third after missing out on a final run.
    "I'm starting from pole so it can't get any better, and as I want to win this race again you can be sure that I will do my best to achieve that," said Vettel, whose car was restored with a new wing after he crashed in practice on Friday.
    "If that means 25 points more, that would be very welcome. Getting only one point would mean I finish in P10 and that wouldn't satisfy me. Clearly winning is the goal."
    Vettel has won the past three races from pole this season and is seeking a third successive Japan title.
    Button will start on the front for the first time since Monaco in May, when he was second to Vettel and then third in the race.
    "Suzuka is a phenomenal circuit. When you have got a car working around here it is a great feeling," said the Englishman, who has signed a new multi-year contract after finishing second in the past two races to be 124 points behind Vettel with five races left .
    "To really fight the Red Bulls around here, on a circuit they have dominated at for the past couple of years, is a great job by everyone. It is not P1, it is not perfect, but second is still pretty good and I think we can race well from there."
    Felipe Massa qualified fourth ahead of Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso, with Vettel's Red Bull colleague Mark Webber sixth.
    Japan's Kamui Kobayashi was boosted to seventh above Michael Schumacher after originally being classified 10th, having attempted to set a flying lap.
    Seven-time world champion Schumacher did not, along with Renault duo Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov -- who will start ninth and 10th.
    Schumacher and Webber were involved as Hamilton missed out on setting a final lap by two seconds.
    "I felt I was in a position to at least fight with these guys, but it was a bit dangerous at the last corner where I had Mark attacking me and I had Michael down the outside," said 2008 world champion Hamilton, who is fifth overall after an inconsistent season.
    "It was very, very strange and that's really where we lost the lap."