Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Vettel in pole position to claim fourth world crown in India

October 26, 2013 -- Updated 1347 GMT (2147 HKT)
Sebastian Vettel is looking to clinch a fourth consecutive Formula One world title at the Buddh International Circuit.
Sebastian Vettel is looking to clinch a fourth consecutive Formula One world title at the Buddh International Circuit.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Red Bull driver maintains 100% qualifying record at Indian Grand Prix
  • Top five finish will secure Vettel a fourth consecutive world title
  • Mercedes Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finish second and third respectively
  • Jorge Lorenzo pips championship leader Marc Marquez to pole at Japan MotoGP

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel's extraordinary sequence of performances at the Buddh International Circuit continued on Saturday as the Red Bull driver secured a third straight pole position for the Indian Grand Prix.

The German, who has yet to be beaten in qualifying or races at the circuit since Formula One made its India debut in 2011, now looks set to be crowned world champion for a fourth successive year on Sunday.

Read more: Mallya: 'King of Good Times'

Vettel only needs a top-five finish to wrap up the title with three races to spare, but given that he has won the last five races few would bet against him rounding off another world championship in style.

The 26-year-old was again in a class of his own, dominating practice on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. So it was no surprise when he topped the standings in qualifying with a time of one minute 24.119 seconds.

Will India F1 race survive?
India's Grand Prix passion

Read more: Formula One's appetite for dieting drivers

Nico Rosberg joins Vettel on the front row of the grid after finishing second with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in third. Red Bull's Mark Webber will start from fourth.

"So far, it's been a brilliant weekend," Vettel said afterwards.

"The car's been very strong since Friday morning. Very strong on both compounds. It's a good result for the team with Mark sitting just behind those (Mercedes) guys."

Felipe Massa finished fifth, three places ahead of Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso, who was also out-qualified by another impressive display by Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg. The German will start from seventh, one place below Kimi Raikkonen who steered his Lotus to sixth place.

Read more: F1 circuit interactive

The Finn's teammate Romain Grosjean, who has finished third at the last two races in Korea and Japan, had a wretched qualifying session.

The Frenchman was eliminated in Q1 after setting a lap time on medium compound tires and not, like everyone else, the slicker soft compounds.

"We just missed the cut-off time. Everyone went quicker than what we thought. It wasn't the best thing to do today. It was OK in the last few races. But we got it wrong," said Grosjean, who will start the race down in 17th place.

Lorenzo pips Marquez to pole in Japan

Meanwhile at MotoGP qualifying in Japan, Jorge Lorenzo is still clinging on to his world title and will start Sunday's race in Motegi on pole position.

The Spaniard finished 0.658 seconds ahead of his 20-year-old compatriot Marc Marquez in a time of one minute 53.471 seconds.

Ducati's Nicky Hayden qualified third while Honda's Dani Pedrosa will start from fourth with Valentino Rossi one place behind in fifth.

With just one race in Valencia remaining after Japan, Rookie Marquez is on the brink of becoming the youngest MotoGP world champion.

The Honda rider will create history on Sunday if he extends his current championship lead of 18 points to 26.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT