Vettel on pole for what could be a record win

Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:09pm 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.

The 26-year-old German made sure of his 44th career pole with the last lap of the session, with Australian team mate Mark Webber having to settle for second on an all-Red Bull front row at the Circuit of the Americas.

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

If he wins, the champion 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.

"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 in the dying seconds, with Webber threatening to take his third pole in four races.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the qualifying session of the Austin F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif