October 5th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel took pole position today for the Korean Grand Prix, his second pole in Korea, third in a row, sixth of the 2013 season and 42nd of his remarkable career. It was a big day for Renault, as Vettel secured their 208th pole position as an engine supplier, equaling the record held by Ferrari.
Renault's first pole position came at the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami in 1979, where Jean-Pierre Jabouille was the fastest qualifier. As the turbo-charged era developed, Renault would add to their tally through the 1980s, before enjoying a remarkable run of success with Williams and Benetton in the 1990s.
Fernando Alonso's success at the works Renault team (formerly Benetton and now Lotus) in 2005-2006 added to the manufacturer's pole position tally, and of course to their victory tally.
But it is in the hands of Red Bull that Renault have enjoyed perhaps their most dominant period of success. 41 of Sebastian Vettel's 42 pole positions have come in Renault-powered Red Bulls from 2009 to 2013. Over the same period, Mark Webber has secured 11 pole positions.
At this stage, Renault and Ferrari share the record for pole positions powered by their engines on 208. But it seems inevitable that Renault will hold the record outright before the end of this season, and very likely by the next race in Japan. Sebastian Vettel's form combined with the superiority of the Red Bull chassis makes it a virtual certainty to happen at some point in the remaining races of 2013.