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Vettel in pole position to claim fourth world crown in India

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.