Australian Red Bull driver Mark Webber has captured pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix and will be joined on the front row by teammate and three-time defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel.

Webber snagged the 12th pole of his career and first this season in Saturday's qualifying at the Suzuka Circuit with a time of 1:30.915, while Germany's Vettel recorded a lap time of 1:31.089.

England's Lewis Hamilton, who drives for Mercedes, and French Lotus driver Romain Grosjean will start on the second row Sunday after posting times of 1:31.253 and 1:31.365, respectively.

Spain's Fernando Alonso, who is in second place in the drivers' standings but trails Vettel by a wide margin, will start on the fourth row after finishing eighth in Saturday's qualifying.

The 26-year-old Vettel, who won last year's Japanese Grand Prix, is poised to become only the third driver in Formula One history to win the drivers' championship four years in a row.

His countryman, Michael Schumacher, holds the record with five consecutive championships between 2000 and 2004. Schumacher also holds the mark for most overall drivers' titles with seven. EFE