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Vettel wins record 15th pole at Brazilian GP

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Last Updated: November 26, 2011, 23:42 IST

Vettel wins record 15th pole at Brazilian GP

F1 champion Sebastian Vettel broke Nigel Mansell's 19-year record for most poles in a season.

Sao Paulo: Two-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel made history again on Saturday, breaking Nigel Mansell's 19-year record for the most pole positions in a season.

One year after becoming the youngest driver to win the F1 championship, the German captured his 15th pole at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday to surpass the mark set by Mansell in 1992.

"Obviously it took the master in that discipline a couple of races less, but very special to me and just happy to be here," said Vettel, who was 23 when he won the 2010 title for Red Bull and is now 24.

Vettel finished in 1 minute, 11.918 at the 2.6-mile Interlagos track. The German drew even with Mansell after winning his 14th pole at the Abu Dhabi GP two weeks ago.

Vettel parked his car and extended his finger to show who was No. 1 again, his trademark celebration all year.

"This is really special," he said. "It's different from the other poles. I'm enjoying the moment. All and all, I was pretty happy with my days on Saturdays (this season)."

"I put everything in that last lap, it was very emotional when I crossed the line. It was all I had, I gave it all."

Mansell set the record with Williams in a 16-race season in 1992, when he also won nine races to win his only F1 drivers' title. He failed to start from the pole only at the Canadian GP and at the Hungarian GP that year. He had six straight poles to start the season and five consecutive to finish it.

Vettel broke the record in 19 races. He failed to win the pole only in Spain, England, Germany and South Korea. His worst starting position was third, in Germany.

"An awesome achievement by Sebastian," Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said. "It's a new record in Formula One, which is a small piece of history for Sebastian and is thoroughly deserved. He shared the record with Nigel for two weeks and he now has some fairly illustrious names behind him."

Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was second with a lap of 1:12.099. Jenson Button of McLaren was third in 1:12.283, and teammate Lewis Hamilton will start fourth with a time of 1:12.480. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will be fifth with Ferrari.

"Seb just had that extra tenth to grab the pole," Webber said. "I tried to help old Nigel out today but it didn't work out."

Vettel had been fastest in the final practice on Saturday morning and also dominated qualifying, staying in front throughout the session.

"There is no secret, once we go to qualifying, we all seem to enjoy it," Vettel said. "Qualifying is all about putting everything that you have and that the car has in one lap. It's like a rush, I really enjoy that."

With the title already decided in favor of Vettel since the Japanese GP, virtually the only thing at stake in Brazil is the fight for second place. Button, Alonso and Webber still have a chance to finish runner-up. Button is 10 points ahead of Alonso and 18 ahead of Webber.

"I feel we did the best in the car," Button said. "The set-up was the best we were going to get it. I got everything out of it."

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