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Brazilian GP: Vettel flies to pole in wet qualifying

Sebastian Vettel

Even an Interlagos downpour could not stop Sebastian Vettel as the 2013 Formula 1 champion took Brazilian Grand Prix pole by six tenths of a second.

The Red Bull driver utterly dominated a Q3 session delayed by 45 minutes due to intense rainfall.

Although Romain Grosjean briefly held provisional pole by virtue of taking intermediates before anyone else, Vettel's first lap on that rubber put him 1.1s clear of all his rivals.

Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso were left to battle for second place, with the Mercedes eventually taking it and trimming Vettel's advantage to 0.623s.

Third was still an excellent result for Alonso given Ferrari's recent form, as he held off Mark Webber by 0.063s.

Lewis Hamilton was half a second off team-mate Rosberg's pace in fifth, while Grosjean fell back to sixth for Lotus.

Toro Rosso starred in the wet and got both cars into Q3. Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne will share row four, beating Felipe Massa's Ferrari and Nico Hulkenberg's Sauber.

Conditions had fluctuated through both Q1 and Q2, with the latter getting ever wetter.

That meant early times largely stood, bar Hulkenberg managing to jump into 10th at the expense of Heikki Kovalainen, who missed out by 0.015s.

Both Force Indias, both McLarens and Valtteri Bottas's Williams also departed in Q2.

Sergio Perez crashed at the right-hander on the exit of the Descida do Lago on his final lap, but still beat McLaren team-mate Jenson Button to 14th.

Q1 appeared to be following a similar pattern until a late improvement in track conditions allowed Vergne to escape the drop-zone.

That pushed Pastor Maldonado onto the elimination list, along with Esteban Gutierrez, the Caterhams and the Marussias, with Charles Pic beating his backmarker peers by half a second.

Pos Driver                Team                 Time          Gap   
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m26.479s
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m27.102s  +0.623s
 3. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m27.539s  +1.060s
 4. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m27.572s  +1.093s
 5. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m27.677s  +1.198s
 6. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m27.737s  +1.258s
 7. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m28.052s  +1.573s
 8. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m28.081s  +1.602s
 9. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m28.109s  +1.630s
10. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m29.582s  +3.103s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m27.441s                                   Gap **
11. Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault        1m27.456s  +1.295s
12. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m27.798s  +1.637s
13. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m27.954s  +1.793s
14. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m28.269s  +2.108s
15. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m28.308s  +2.147s
16. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m28.586s  +2.425s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m27.209s                                    Gap *
17. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m27.367s  +2.025s
18. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m27.445s  +2.103s
19. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m27.843s  +2.501s
20. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m28.320s  +2.978s
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m28.366s  +3.024s
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m28.950s  +3.608s


107% time: 1m31.315s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2


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