Sebastian Vettel flew to a record 15th pole position of the 2011 season with an imperious performance in Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying at Interlagos.
The World Champion topped Q2 then absolutely dominated Q3. Vettel's initial 1m12.268s effort put him a quarter of a second clear of the pack, and he then improved to 1m11.918s with his final attempt.
Mark Webber made it an all-Red Bull front row, winning a battle with McLaren's Q1 pacesetter Jenson Button as the Briton ended a run of Interlagos qualifying disasters to take third. Button had looked like he might manage to hang on to a front row slot until Webber came through with a 1m12.099s on his second run. Lewis Hamilton was back in fourth in the other McLaren.
The Ferraris took fifth and seventh, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa split by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who had been a surprise second in Q2. Rosberg's teammate Michael Schumacher did not attempt a final lap in Q3 so will start 10th.
Adrian Sutil took eighth in the leading Force India, ahead of Bruno Senna, who impressed on home ground to deliver a now rare Q3 appearance for a Lotus Renault.
Outside the top 10, Rubens Barrichello produced a strong performance to get his Williams up to 12th for what may be his last grand prix start. Paul di Resta (Force India) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault) could not match their respective teammates and will start 11th and 16th. The Toro Rossos will share row seven, while the Saubers made up the tail of the Q2 pack.
Pastor Maldonado was half a second down on Williams teammate Barrichello as he ended up on the wrong side of the Q1 cut-off in 18th.
Lotus' new rear wing did not bring the hoped-for Q2 progress, but the team did move a further step closer to those ahead, with Heikki Kovalainen within half a second of Toro Rosso, Sauber and Williams pace.
HRT managed to get both its cars ahead of both Virgins, while Jerome D'Ambrosio outqualified Timo Glock in what could well be his final outing for the team before being replaced by Charles Pic.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m11.918s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m12.099s + 0.181
3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.283s + 0.365
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.480s + 0.562
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m12.591s + 0.673
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.050s + 1.132
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m13.068s + 1.150
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m13.298s + 1.380
9. Bruno Senna Renault 1m13.761s + 1.843
10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes
Q2 cut-off time: 1m13.571s Gap **
11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m13.584s + 1.138
12. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m13.801s + 1.355
13. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m13.804s + 1.358
14. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m13.919s + 1.473
15. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m14.053s + 1.607
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.129s + 1.683
17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m14.182s + 1.736
Q1 cut-off time: 1m14.571s Gap *
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m14.625s + 1.344
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m15.068s + 1.787
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m15.358s + 2.077
21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m16.631s + 3.350
22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m16.890s + 3.609
23. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m17.019s + 3.738
24. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m17.060s + 3.779
107% time: 1m18.410s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2