Double world champion Vettel was again in a class of his own over one lap in the final qualifying session of the year at Interlagos.
The 24-year-old German now possesses the record for outright number of poles in a single season after matching the previous best mark of 14, posted by Nigel Mansell in 1992, two weeks ago in Abu Dhabi.
Underlining Red Bull’s superiority, Mark Webber managed to lock out the front row for the team, finishing 0.117secs behind Vettel, pictured below.
Scotland’s Paul Di Resta will start 11th in his Force India.
All the McLarens could manage was third and fourth, albeit with Jenson Button out-qualifying Lewis Hamilton, the latter half a second behind Vettel. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, as he expected, was fifth ahead of Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes, who has the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa behind him.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil, in what was almost certainly his last qualifying session for the team ahead of an anticipated move to Williams, was a superb eighth.
Bruno Senna, who is expected to make way for Romain Grosjean next season, was ninth in his Renault, out-qualifying Vitaly Petrov, with Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher 10th.
Di Resta is one ahead of Williams’ Rubens Barrichello, whose last grand prix this may be.
Jaime Alguersuari out-qualified Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi, while Petrov starts a lowly 15th ahead of Sauber pair Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.
Williams’ Pastor Maldonado was overshadowed by Barrichello, the Venezuelan finishing half a second down on his team-mate.
Maldonado will line up 18th ahead of Lotus pair Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, with Hispania duo Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo in 21st and 22nd.
It is not the way Virgin Racing will have wanted to end the season as they occupy the back row for the first time this year, with Jerome D’Ambrosio edging out Timo Glock.