Vettel edges teammate Webber for USGP pole in Austin

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Updated: November 16, 2013

Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – Four-time Formula One world champion
Sebastian Vettel will start on the pole for the United States Grand Prix at
Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row after beating Red Bull
teammate Mark Webber in Saturday’s qualifying.

Webber held the provisional pole with a lap in 1 minute, 36.441 seconds until
Vettel completed his final lap around this 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit in
1:36.338. Vettel claimed his eighth pole of the season and the 44th of his
already illustrious F1 career. The 26-year-old German is attempting to win his
eighth straight grand prix on Sunday in Austin, which would set a record for
most consecutive victories in a single season. The 2013 season concludes with
the Nov. 24 Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo.

Two weeks ago, Webber won the pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after topping
Vettel by just 0.118 seconds. The margin between Vettel and Webber for the
USGP pole was only 0.103 seconds.

When F1 competed in Austin for the first time one year ago, Vettel held the
lead for 41 laps before Lewis Hamilton, who drove for McLaren at the time,
overtook him for the top spot. Hamilton ran in front for the final 15 laps,
holding off Vettel at the finish by just 0.6 seconds.

Romain Grosjean from Lotus qualified third, while Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg
took the fourth spot. Hamilton, in his first season with Mercedes, will start
fifth.

Fernando Alonso placed his Ferrari sixth on the grid. Sergio Perez from
McLaren will roll off in seventh.

Heikki Kovalainen, who is substituting for Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus in the USGP
and Brazil, qualified eighth. Raikkonen underwent back surgery on Thursday to
solve a recurrent back problem. He elected to miss the final two rounds this
year so his 2014 season would not be impacted when he drives for Ferrari.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez from Sauber completed the
top-10.