Sunday, November 24, 2013

Final 2013 Formula 1 Pole Captured by Vettel in Brazil

Photo source: Pirelli Photo Service

Concluding what has become a 2013 Formula 1 tour with surprises, the 19-race series wraps in Brazil with a familiar face taking the headlines. Entering the final race of the Formula 1 season, the Red Bull Racing led by German Sebastian Vettel has been operating undefeated in grand prix races for almost three months. Winning the past eight races, Vettel owns the record for most wins in a single season in the premier open wheel racing series. If Sebastian Vettel repeats his pattern for the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, the Red Bull-Renault driver will be equalling another mark of greatness. However, with only 71 laps remaining in the 2013 Formula 1 season, the 100 percent effort of other drivers could still potentially unseat the German from a ninth-consecutive race win.  

Punishing the other Formula 1 runners with a Q3 pace, Sebastian Vettel won his seventh pole in a wet session at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. Lapping the 4.309-kilometer Brazilian race track in 1 minute, 26.479 seconds, the #1 Red Bull-Renault eventually rose to the top in a final time trial session delayed by heavy rain. If Vettel succeeds in capturing a ninth grand prix in a row, the German will tie the all-time consecutive winning streak record posted by Alberto Ascari during the 1952 and 1953 race seasons.

For an all-German driver front row, Nico Rosberg mounted the second-fastest effort in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Mercedes AMG race car driven by Rosberg was more than 6/10ths of a second slower on the wet circuit. Four-tenths of a second behind Nico Rosberg's time on track Saturday was Fernando Alonso. A favourite for the driver's championship at the beginning of the 2013, the Alonso and the Ferrari team was slightly off the pace for much of the season provoking a defensive effort late to simply protect the Spanish driver's second place in points. With second place in the drivers' standings locked up in the United States Grand Prix, Alonso will be fighting alongside teammate Felipe Massa to take the runner-up spot in the constructors' championship for the Ferrari team. Within striking distance, Ferrari sits 15 points behind Mercedes AMG for the second-place position. Starting ninth, Felipe Massa's long run with Ferrari will come to an end in his home country.

The biggest  fight remaining in the overall drivers' championship surrounds 3rd place. Separated by the injured Kimi Raikkonen who is not part of the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber are separated by six points. While the Mercedes AMG is struggling to return to the form shown doing the summer, the team appears have found some race pace as of late. In qualifying Webber will be in the fourth-place grid position with Hamilton placed only one spot behind.

In sixth, Romain Grosjean will be working to cap off a marvelous late season effort that his included four podium finishes in the past five grand prix events. Grosjean recently finished in the runner-up position at the United States Grand Prix. Barring complications, it seems Romain Grosjean will be back with the Lotus F1 team next season having excellently stepped up his performance.

Also deserving credit for worthy qualifying performances for the Brazilian Grand Prix, both Toro Rosso drivers secured top-10 spots. Preparing for a 2014 season in the vacated seat of Mark Webber with Red Bull Racing, Daniel Ricciardo just barely beat his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne. With Scuderia Toro Rosso powered by Ferrari engines, the final four vehicles in the top-10 are receiving power from the Italian automaker. Nico Hulkenberg driving for Sauber is located in tenth spot.

For a 71-lap race to complete the 2013 Formula 1 season, the Brazilian Grand Prix is set for Sunday at 2pm local time (11am in the eastern time zone). Just like the weekend so-far in Brazil, rain is slated to be a factor.

2013 Formula 1
Brazilian Grand Prix
Qualifying Results

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault
2 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault
5 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault
7 19 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
8 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
9 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari
10 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari
11 7 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Renault
12 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes-Benz
13 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Renault
14 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes-Benz
15 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes-Benz
16 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes-Benz
17 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 Renault
18 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault
20 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth

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