Sebastian Vettel has qualified in pole position for the American Grand Prix in Austin, Texas as he chases a record-breaking eighth consecutive victory. Expect the biggest threat to this achievement to come from his teammate Mark Webber, starting second on the grid.
With victory last time out in Abu Dhabi, Vettel has already equalled Michael Schumacher’s record for consecutive wins in a single season set in 2004. Vettel is 1/4 on to break that record at the Circuit of the Americas.
Vettel can also equal his compatriot’s record for 13 total wins in a single season with victories in both Austin and the final race of the season in Brazil.
Also continuing in strong form after the Emirates is Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Webber. The Australian has announced his departure from Formula One at the end of the season and is leaving on a high, with two podium places in his last three race finishes.
Webber finished second in qualifying by just 0.115 seconds, owing to the slightest of errors on turn 19 in his final run.
However, starting second doesn’t spell the end for Webber’s chances. He began in that position the last time he won a Grand Prix, at Silverstone last year. In fact, four of his last five victories have come after he started second on the grid.
Webber is 4/1 to repeat the feat in America and take his career win total to double figures before leaving the sport.
The Austin circuit will remind him of Silverstone, with the alternating corners in turns 3-9 particularly reminiscent of the British track.
However, after yesterday’s strong winds there is no British weather expected in Texas with a forecast of clear skies and 22 degrees. Hotter conditions have led to success for Red Bull in the last three races and this looks set to continue.
Webber has also looked stronger on the medium and hard tyres Pirelli has offered today. A one or two stop strategy is expected for the majority of the field, depending on how much extra grip the track offers in its second year.
With the circuit, weather and tyres all favouring the Red Bulls, the in form Webber looks to be the only man who can stop Vettel at the moment.
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