Formula One News
PREVIEW: Vettel to cement his number one status by winning F1 finale
By Jens Marx Nov 24, 2011, 9:05 GMT
Sao Paulo, Brazil - Sebastian Vettel wants to end a dominant Formula One campaign in style in Brazil by gaining sole possession of the pole position season record and taking a 12th win of the year.
Vettel, 24, wrapped up back-to-back world titles four races ago in Japan and his Red Bull team is also assured of successive constructors' crown.
The German would be excused for taking it easy at the 4.309km Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace, but it will add to his motivation that he comes to Brazil from his first did-not-finish result of the season owing to a first-lap puncture in Abu Dhabi.
Victory on Sunday would confirm Vettel's total dominance in a season he led from start to finish, and give himself and the team a kick-start into the off-season and 2012.
While the reason for the puncture remains unclear, Vettel says the team is moving on 'to make sure we can end this season in style and shine once again.'
Vettel equalled Nigel Mansell's record of 14 poles in a season in Abu Dhabi and another top spot in qualifying would raise the mark to 15 in 19 events. Three others came from team-mate Mark Webber while Lewis Hamilton got the only non-Red Bull pole.
First place on the grid is an important criteria for a race victory in most other places, but the Interlagos course has seen the pole-sitter win only twice in the past 10 editions - local hero Felipe Massa of Ferrari in 2006 and 2008.
Vettel won the Brazil race en route to taking the world title in the Abu Dhabi finale last year when the races were held in reverse order.
However, his rivals also have fond memories of the course as Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso have clinched world titles there in the past.
While being reduced to also-runners by Vettel for most of the season, the McLaren duo of Hamilton and Button, as well as Ferrari's Alonso, hope to somehow find enough speed to get victory and momentum for 2012.
Hamilton clinched the 2008 title in Brazil in the second-from last turn of the final lap and now wants to end an agonising year on and off the course in the best possible way after getting a late boost by winning in Abu Dhabi.
'Winning in Abu Dhabi was a fantastic feeling, and it's made me even more determined to finish the 2011 season with a victory. It would be great to go into the winter off the back of another win, so that'll be my aim,' said Hamilton.
However, Hamilton will finish for the first time in his F1 career behind a team-mate as Button takes 255 points into the finale and aims to hold off Alonso (245) and Webber (233) for the runner-up spot. Vettel has 374 and Hamilton 227.
'Certainly I'm determined to win my fourth grand prix of the year, even if it means fighting all the way to the last lap of the last race,' said Button.
Drivers have nothing but praise for the course which is driven anti-clockwise. The altitude of almost 1,000m makes the cars lose power and the unpredictable weather adds to the challenge.
The first two rounds of free practice are on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the 71-lap race in front of the passionate Brazilian fans on Sunday.
The fans will be hoping for another victory from Massa, who will be competing in his 100th race for Ferrari at the end of his 10th year in the sport.
'Putting it all together ... makes this something really special for me. It will be an emotional time and what I would like to add to it all would be a good result come Sunday afternoon,' said Massa.