Skip to content

Vettel beats the weather to secure pole for Brazilian GP

Nov 23, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT

Vettel 23-11 AP

Sebastian Vettel has scored his ninth pole position of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix after a great display of wet weather driving to get the best out of his Red Bull car despite the tricky conditions.

Vettel’s final time of 1:26.479 saw him finish well ahead of Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso who finished in second and third place respectively, and the quadruple world champion looked at ease in the rain that caused the final stage of qualifying to be delayed by forty minutes.

Qualifying got underway with light rain falling and more due, but with a drier outlook for the race on Sunday, the teams had to set up their cars anticipating a dry race. With conditions thought to be worsening in Q1, a number of drivers went out early to post a time on the intermediate tire. Lewis Hamilton was the first to get out and post a time, and it immediately paid off as he went to the top of the timesheets ahead of Vettel and teammate Nico Rosberg. With the rain growing heavier, many drivers opted to pit and hope that conditions improved, but Mark Webber had to produce a good lap to get himself out of danger after lingering near the dropzone. Conditions soon meant that it was difficult to go quicker, leaving Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez at risk of elimination. When conditions did begin to improve, only the drivers at risk ventured out in the final few minutes, and it soon became a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Vergne was able to improve to make it through to Q2, but Pastor Maldonado was less fortunate and was eliminated alongside Gutierrez and both Caterham and Marussia drivers.

Mercedes were quick out of the blocks once again in Q2 as Hamilton and Rosberg led the drivers away, but the rain made it hard to judge just when would be the best time to go out on track. Rosberg’s first time was four-tenths quicker than his teammate’s, but compatriot Sebastian Vettel soon resumed normal service to move up to top spot. Mark Webber went third-fastest with his first time only for Hamilton to take his place, and it soon became all about timing. With five minutes to go, some of the drivers pitted for a fresh set of intermediate tires and plotted their final assault. The track began to dry slightly and allowed for improvements as Romain Grosjean went fastest of all and Fernando Alonso moved up into third place. The battle to make it through to Q3 hotted up as both Toro Rossos improved but the rain of Interlagos got heavier once again to scupper any hopes those in the dropzone had of making it through to the top ten. As a result, Heikki Kovalainen and Valtteri Bottas joined both McLarens and both Force Indias in the dropzone, with Sergio Perez’s session ending in the wall after making a mistake at turn five.

Due to the conditions, Q3 was delayed by forty minutes before it was deemed safe to get the final part of qualifying underway. Once the drivers were able to get out, the wet tire was used by all initially and Mark Webber was the first to tackle the damp circuit. After the first set of times, Vettel led from Rosberg and Webber, but many of the drivers opted to head straight for the pits to take on intermediate tires. Romain Grosjean bailed from his wet lap to take on intermediates, and it paid off as he immediately went fastest with three minutes remaining. Mark Webber soon displaced the Frenchman, but Vettel charged through the spray to go over one second faster. Rosberg and Alonso exchanged times for P2, but ultimately the German driver came out on top. However, not even the weather could stop Sebastian Vettel who scored his ninth pole position of the season in Brazil, finishing a full six-tenths clear of the rest of the field.

Vettel will now be looking to continue this form on Sunday to clinch a record-equalling ninth consecutive win, but with Rosberg and Alonso – both of whom have proven themselves as adept wet weather drivers – looming large in his mirrors and the rain also set to interfere, the German driver may be forced to fight for the victory.

Latest Posts
  1. Bubba Wallace still in the lead going into final 40-lap segment of MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:19 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Butch Dill) AP

    Darrell Wallace Jr. continues to lead after 110 laps (at the time of a second and final mandatory competition caution) in Wednesday night’s MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.

  2. Bubba Wallace leads after first of three segments in MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT

    Darrell Wallace Jr. AP

    At the end of the first segment of Wednesday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, it’s Darrell Wallace Jr. in the lead.

  3. All heat results from MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT

    mudsummer classic logo

    For those of you keeping score at home, here’s the results of all five heat races and the “last chance” race prior to Wednesday night’s second annual MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway.

  4. Kurt Busch 25th in Sprint Cup points — IndyCar, too

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:06 PM EDT

    kurt busch indy car 2 AP

    Thanks to a statistical quirk, Kurt Busch is ranked in the same place in the points standings in both the Sprint Cup Series and Verizon IndyCar Series.

  5. NASCAR America: Almirola and Hornish on what makes the Brickyard 400 so important

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:52 PM EDT

    hornish at newton win

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. discussed some of the biggest wins of their careers and talk about the importance of the Brickyard 400 on the NASCAR calendar.

  6. NASCAR America: Richard Petty Motorsports in the Chase

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:42 PM EDT

    AlmirolaDIS1 Getty Images

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA, 2014 Coke Zero 400 winner Aric Almirola took a look at the Chase for the Sprint Cup grid and also evaluated Richard Petty Motorsports’ performance through the first 19 races of the 2014 season.

  7. NASCAR America Minute: Brickyard 400 is ‘a big deal’

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:37 PM EDT

    nascar america

    On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR AMERICA, Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. previewed Sunday’s 21st running of the Brickyard 400 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

  8. Erik Jones takes first career Truck pole — and does it in first time racing on dirt — for MudSummer Classic at Eldora

    Jul 23, 2014, 6:27 PM EDT

    erik jones wins ncwts at iowa AP

    Before Wednesday, the only dirt Erik Jones ever raced on was back in the tiny rural town he grew up in, little Byron, Mich., population 561. On two feet, too. But that didn’t stop Jones from winning the pole for tonight’s MudSummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway.

  9. Reggie Wayne shows up to Colts camp in a two-seater IndyCar

    Jul 23, 2014, 5:43 PM EDT

    WayneCarp AP

    Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne, healthy, rides into training camp as a passenger in a two-seater IndyCar driven by Ed Carpenter.

  10. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA – Special 6 pm ET start time with Almirola, Hornish, Eldora highlights

    Jul 23, 2014, 3:26 PM EDT

    140723-nascar-america-site

    Hey there, NASCAR AMERICA is back! After a brief vacation just like the Sprint Cup drivers enjoyed during the last off-weekend of the 2014 season, we’re back in the studio and at the shops, ready to give you the latest news in the world of NASCAR.

  11. Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney fastest in Eldora Truck practices

    Jul 23, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

    Austin Dillon won the inaugural MudSummer Classic race at Eldora Speedway in 2013. (Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney recorded the top speeds in the two practice sessions for Wednesday night’s second annual MudSummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Eldora Speedway.

  12. Highlights of IndyCar’s Honda Indy 2 in Toronto (VIDEO)

    Jul 23, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT

    ConwayTOR3 AP

    Video highlights from the Honda Indy 2 in Toronto on Sunday.

  13. IMSA: Sage Karam joins CGR lineup at IMS

    Jul 23, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

    Karam01 Getty Images

    Sage Karam fills in for Memo Rojas at IMS for the TUDOR Championship race this weekend.

  14. NASCAR: Logano interview makes one young writer’s dream come true

    Jul 23, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

    LoganoAT Getty Images

    University student gets to interview Joey Logano at New Hampshire, and fortuitous timing before his day ended early due to contact with Morgan Shepherd.

  15. NASCAR: Mudsummer Classic at Eldora looks for a solid sequel

    Jul 23, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

    The CarCash Mudsummer Classic Getty Images

    Eldora Truck race tonight seeks to be as good as the original.

  16. NASCAR: Rudd, Jarrett, Bobby Labonte look back on Brickyard 400 triumphs

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:33 PM EDT

    Ricky Rudd Getty Images

    Time has not lessened the significance of winning at Indy for these three NASCAR standouts.

  17. NASCAR: This time at Indy, it’s just stock cars for Kurt Busch

    Jul 22, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    (Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Outlaw returns to Indianapolis for the first time since his Indy 500-Coke 600 double back in May.

  18. IndyCar: Want Juan Pablo Montoya’s penthouse? It’ll cost you – a lot

    Jul 22, 2014, 5:54 PM EDT

    montoya3 Getty Images

    The Team Penske pilot is putting up his six-bedroom Miami penthouse for a cool $14 million. Better start saving up…

  19. NASCAR: Roush camp looking for speed in Michigan test

    Jul 22, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT

    AAA Texas 500 Getty Images

    Seeking to catch up with their Ford stablemates at Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing’s trio of Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. have been searching for speed in a two-day test session at Michigan International Speedway.

  20. Indy’s new scoring pylon is quite colorful (PHOTOS)

    Jul 22, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    Credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Credit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

    The new, 92-foot pylon is made up of four LED panels capable of video animations that relay race info to fans.