SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel has earned pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday, putting himself in the perfect place to claim the Formula One championship in Sunday’s race.
Vettel extended Red Bull’s perfect streak of poles to all 15 races this season with a lap of 1 minute, 30.466 seconds at the Suzuka circuit, edging McLaren’s Jenson Button by just .009 seconds. Button’s McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton was third despite not setting a time in his final run.
Vettel needs only one point in Sunday’s race — or Button to fail to win — to become the sport’s youngest two-time winner.
Felipe Massa will start from fourth after the rare feat of outqualifying his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso.