Vettel was almost half a second faster than Lewis Hamilton who beat his teammate, Jenson Button, by a mere 0.052 seconds. The Tifosi had to be content with Fernando Alonso’s fourth place –not a bad result, if you consider that he is one place ahead of the second Red Bull of Mark Webber.
Ferrari's Felipe Massa will start from sixth position, ahead of Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and the two Mercedes’ of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg. Bruno Senna, nephew of the late Ayrton, completes the top ten of the starting grid with the second Renault.
The race, which is the last Grand Prix in Europe for 2011 since Formula 1 moves to Asia for the next five races before the season finale at Brazil, starts on Sunday at 12:00 GMT.