Sublime Seb equals pole record and has Schumacher in sight
In one of the most exciting qualifying sessions of the season, Sebastian Vettel has equalled Nigel Mansell’s pole position record and will once again lead from the front at tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The champion was last out of the pits with Lewis Hamilton leading and Jenson Button second, but a devastating last lap saw him finish 0.141 seconds faster than the McLaren driver.
It’s his 14th pole of the season and equals a record set by Nigel Mansell in 1992. With the Brazilian Grand Prix ending the 2011 season on November 27th, Vettel will have his eye on making the record his own.
But Mansell is not the only F1 great fearing being etched out of the record books, as Vettel’s continued excellence – with 11 wins this year – also sees him closing in on compatriot Michael Schumacher’s 13 wins in a single season.
Unsurprisingly Vettel is 4/6 favourite to take his position on top of the podium tomorrow, but McLaren’s British duo should not be immediately discounted.
Before Vettel’s last lap heroics, Hamilton (11/4 to win tomorrow) and Button (5/1) had dominated every session at the Yas Marina circuit.
Hamilton even recorded a lap in the second qualifying session that would have seen him starting at the front tomorrow had he repeated it in the final session.
It’s worth noting that on the four occasions that Vettel has not managed a win from the front, it is the McLaren duo who have benefited – Button with three wins and Hamilton the other.
Nonetheless it’s difficult to see past the dominant German – who won here in the circuit’s inaugural race last season – who is also 7/4 favourite to claim the fastest lap.