Vettel on pole for what could be a record win

Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:18pm EST
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By Steve Keating

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Red Bull's quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel seized pole position on Saturday for a U.S. Grand Prix that could see him celebrate a record eighth successive win of the Formula One season.

Sunday's race will be the eighth time this season that the 26-year-old German, who clinched his fourth successive driver's title in India last month, has started from pole and the second straight year in Texas.

If Vettel wins, he will become the first driver to win eight races in a single season. The all-time record of nine in a row was set by Italian Alberto Ascari over the course of two seasons in 1952/53.

He will also stay on course to equal Michael Schumacher's record of 13 wins in a season, with only Brazil to come after Austin and 11 victories already under his belt.

"I'm trying not to think much about these things," Vettel told reporters after Red Bull locked out the front row at the Circuit of the Americas, with Australian Mark Webber qualifying in second place.

"I think it is not the right mindset to go into a race thinking about a higher target than just the race. I've done well with that kind of approach so far so I don't see any reason to change."

Vettel's best lap of one minute 36.338 seconds was set under overcast skies, with Webber threatening to take his third pole in four races.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean, still chasing his first win, put Lotus third on the grid for Sunday's race with Germany's Nico Hulkenberg a fine fourth for Sauber.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the third practice session of the U.S. F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone