Sebastian Vettel is now just 56 laps away from becoming the youngest triple world champion in Formula One history having stormed to pole position in Saturday’s qualifying for Sunday’s United States Grand Prix weekend. This, after a clean sweep of practice by setting the fastest times in all three qualifying sessions.
The 25-year-old will start his 100th GP on Sunday from his sixth pole position of the season, and 36th of a career that is set to head skyward after the US GP.
Round the bend: Germany’s Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing negotiates a turn during the qualifying session for the United States Formula One Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Saturday. Vettel took the pole position. Pic/AFP
Title rival Fernando Alonso, who managed to qualify his Ferrari ninth, must finish within 15 points of Vettel to ensure the title fight goes down to the final race wire in Brazil next weekend.
Vettel meanwhile, is on the brink of history as he will be only the third driver and youngest to win three consecutive championships, joining Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
“I’m very happy with the (qualifying) result, but nobody has scored any points yet,” said Vettel after taking pole on Saturday. “We saw in the last race how quickly things can change. It's the best strategy to keep your head down and try to get the best.”
The smiling Vettel however seemed to be in no trouble whatsoever as he navigated the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas with ease clocking a fastest lap of 1 minute, 35.657 seconds, edging McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for pole while his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was third.
“The asphalt is brand new and it takes a while for the track to come in, but it’s also a lot of fun to slide around a couple of corners, and it just got better throughout,” Vettel said.