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Vettel fastest in final practice at Brazilian GP

Updated: November 26, 2011, 09:27

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the third training session ahead of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix on the Interlagos racetrack in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Nov.26, 2011. Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the final practice Saturday, qualifying for Sunday's Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Silvia izquierdo)

SAO PAULO(AP) Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the final practice before qualifying at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Red Bull driver, who has already won the F1 title, will try to break the record for most pole positions in a season later Saturday. Vettel has won 14 poles ahead of the season-ending race, tying Nigel Mansell's feat in 1992.

Vettel had a lap of 1 minute, 12.460 seconds at the 4.3-kilometer (2.6-mile) Interlagos track. Jenson Button of McLaren was second with a time of 1:12.547 and Vettel teammate Mark Webber was third in 1:12.597.

Lewis Hamilton of McLaren was fourth and Fernando Alonso of Ferrari fifth. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was eighth with Mercedes, and fan-favorite Felipe Massa 10th with the other Ferrari.

It was the final practice ahead of Sunday's race. The session took place in dry weather and hot conditions in South America's biggest city, but there was a chance of rain for qualifying and for the race itself. Many of Red Bull's rivals were hoping for wet conditions during the weekend to try to level the field.

Webber had been the fastest in the first practice session on Friday and Hamilton set the pace in the second.

Vettel has said it would be special to break the pole position record on Saturday, although he was not planning to prioritize the car's setup for qualifying and sacrifice performance for Sunday's race.

Mansell set the record with Williams in a 16-race season in 1992, when he also won nine races to win his only F1 drivers' title. He failed to start from the pole only at the Canadian GP and at the Hungarian GP that year. He had six straight poles to start the season and five consecutive to finish it.

With the title already decided in favor of Vettel since the Japanese GP, virtually the only thing at stake in Brazil is the fight for second place, with Button, Alonso and Webber still with a chance to finish runner-up. Button has a 10-point lead over Alonso and an 18-point advantage over Webber.

Vettel dominated the season with 11 victories, but it was Hamilton who won the last race in Abu Dhabi after a tire failure forced Vettel to retire on the first lap.

Red Bull also has already won the constructors' championship, with McLaren finishing second and Ferrari third.


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