Sebastian Vettel's bid to land a fourth successive world title at Sunday's Indian Grand Prix will begin from pole position after another dominant performance at the wheel of the Red Bull during Saturday's qualifying hour.
The German, who is on the brink of becoming only the fourth man in history to rack up four drivers' titles, set a fastest lap of one minute 24.119 seconds around the flowing Buddh International Circuit to finish over seven-tenths up on Mercedes' Nico Rosberg in second.
Rosberg's team-mate Lewis Hamilton took third on the grid, a tenth further back, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who trails Vettel by 90 points but remains the only man who can deny him yet another drivers' title, will start back in eighth place.
"Yes guys, yes. We did what we had to. Great job. The car was fantastic," Vettel said over his car radio after sealing his seventh pole position of the campaign and 43rd of his career.
The top three set their best laps on the quicker soft-compound Pirelli tyres, with Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber choosing to sacrifice grid position with an eye on the race as he took fourth place on the medium tyre.
That Webber was just a tenth slower than Hamilton on a tyre generally regarded as being around a second a lap slower than the soft speaks volumes for the performance of the Red Bull around this circuit so far.
"So far it's a brilliant weekend. The car was amazing," Vettel, the only man to win the Indian Grand Prix since the event came onto the calendar in 2011, added in the post-qualifying press conference.
"The car's been very strong since Friday morning. Very strong on both compounds. It's a good result for the team with Mark sitting just behind those [Mercedes] guys."
Rosberg admitted he was working hard to extract the maximum from his car.
"I'm on a knife-edge. Completely pushing the limits," he said. "Until now it's worked and it seems like we're a step forward from where we were in recent races."
Hamilton added: "It's been a tough weekend. We've been pushing as hard as we can to get a good result this weekend. I was a little bit surprised to be where we are. Hopefully tomorrow we can stick together to stay ahead of the rest."