In Brazil, Sebastian Vettel finally took the record that the world had been expecting for much of 2011: the German scored his 15th pole position of the year, breaking the milestone that had been held by Nigel Mansell for 19 years.
Vettel, who also became the first driver to post 18 front-row starts in a season, grabbed the 30th pole of his career.
Mansell's 1992 pole record was beaten by Vettel in Brazil © LAT
He admitted that Mansell's achievement was more impressive: the Briton achieved the feat in 16 races in 1992, rather than 19. Vettel's average qualifying position of 1.26, which comes as a result of 15 poles, three seconds and a third, is worse than Mansell's 1.19 from that year, which came from 14 poles, a second and a third. Alain Prost's 13 poles and three seconds from 1993 also returns an average of 1.19.
It didn't end there for Vettel's records. He became the first driver in F1 history to lead 17 races in a season (breaking the record he previously shared with Michael Schumacher's 2004 campaign) and tied his countryman for podium finishes in a single year - also 17.