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Sebastian Vettel pinched pole position for United States Grand Prix on Sunday from under the nose of team-mate Mark Webber in last lap of qualifying.
The German, who won his fourth successive F1 drivers’ crown in India a fortnight ago, is now looking to set a new record of eight consecutive race wins in Austin, Texas, in the penultimate race of the 2013 campaign.
And, after watching Webber set the pace with his first set of tyres at the start of the final session of qualifying, Vettel denied him pole for the second successive race as he edged him out by 0.103secs.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow [Sunday],” said Vettel afterwards. “If you have the chance to win you want to go for it. Everything came together today and we’ll see how it goes.”
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will start from fifth place on the grid behind Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso sealed his best grid position for four races with sixth ahead of McLaren’s Sergio Perez.
McLaren’s British driver Jenson Button was 13th and will drop to 14th after a penalty for ignoring red flags in Friday practice.