German driver Sebastian Vettel is on pole for Sunday's Indian Grand Prix. Only a major mishap can keep him from attaining his fourth straight Formula One world title in the race.
Vettel, driving for the team Red Bull, topped Sunday's qualifying in 1 minute, 24.119 seconds at the Buddh International Circuit southeast of the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came in after him, while Vettel's nearest title rival, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, had to be content with eighth place.
The 26-year-old Vettel leads Alonso by 90 points, with a maximum of 100 still to be won. He only needs a fifth-place finish on Sunday to take the title even if Alonso wins, with three races still to go in the Formula One season.
If he achieves the fourth world title, he will go down in history as the youngest driver ever to do so.
Vettel has won the previous two Indian Grand Prix races from pole.
Final practice for the race was twice delayed on Saturday, as smog over the circuit prevented a medical helicopter from operating. Organizers postponed the start by 15 minutes and then ordered another five-minute delay because of the hazy conditions
tj/ipj (Reuters, dpa)