The German has won the last three races for Red Bull, opening up a 60-point lead over his closest rival in the drivers' championship, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, and is back on pole at the Korea International Circuit.
Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg start in second and fourth, and Alonso fifth - the latter pair moving up a position after Mark Webber was given a 10-place penalty - but such was Vettel's dominance in Singapore a fortnight ago, he took the chequered flag a full 32 seconds ahead of Alonso.
Brawn said: "If we look at Friday [when Hamilton was on top in practice] then we can expect quite an exciting race. The difficulty is projecting what we saw on Friday into the race.
"We had a particularly good [long] run, but I don't think we saw Sebastian's run. He stayed on the soft [tyre] option and was obviously managing them on Friday, so we haven't seen his true pace yet. But hopefully we won't get a repeat of Singapore."
Vettel, two tenths of a second faster than Hamilton, was even able to abort his final flying lap as no-one came close to challenging his first run. "I had a very, very good lap on my first attempt in Q3," Vettel said. "I knew I would find it tricky to beat that time. I tried again, but caught Kimi [Raikkonen] on the warm-up lap and was a little bit too close.
"We didn't have that much time in hand to drop back further, so it was not ideal, but fortunately the first lap was good enough."
The three-time champion added: "Mercedes are very strong, but we've got the balance right this weekend, improving the car from Friday when I wasn't entirely happy. All in all we can be very happy with what we have achieved, so that is why I was pretty happy after qualifying."
There is a possibility of rain for the race, although Typhoon Fitow, which had threatened to severely disrupt the event, is now only likely to play a bit-part role.
Vettel was unconcerned, however. "It's not a disaster if it starts to rain," he said. "We have rain tyres in the garage. They're talking about heavy wind, but I think the typhoon has changed direction, so tomorrow should be fine in terms of conditions, whether it is dry or wet.
"If we get some of the rain from the typhoon, which isn't 100% clear at the moment, it doesn't matter. The most important thing is we did the job in qualifying, and now we can look forward to the race."
Hamilton can only hope he can get close enough to Vettel in the opening stages to give him a shot at an early attack. "I'm going to be pushing as hard as I can to get past Sebastian and to put myself in the best position to fight," the Briton said.
"I'm happy the car is as competitive as it is. The guys have done such a good job to put us up this high, but I think there's more to come."
Hamilton starts one place ahead of Romain Grosjean of Lotus. Alonso meanwhile, who joined in the criticism of Pirelli's tyres, knows he will need another storming first lap, as he has often produced this season.
The Spaniard said: "The straights will be a big opportunity for us. Our start is normally good, although in turn one there is not enough space to really attack, so we will try in turns three and four where there has always been some action in previous years."
Pointing the finger at Pirelli, and the supersoft compound in particular, Alonso said: "It's a tyre that cannot do five kilometres. If you push them you finish them, which is not normal.
"I am not blaming the tyres [for his qualifying time], they are what they are and it's the same for everybody, but we need to find a compromise."
With McLaren's Jenson Button starting in 11th, Force India's Paul di Resta lines up in 15th. Max Chilton was initially slowest, but, with Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi handed a penalty for impeding Di Resta, he moves up a place to 21st.
In a disappointing season, Button's best finish so far has been fifth. However, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh yesterday promised that "headline-grabbing" signings are on their way as he seeks to turn around their fortunes.
Whitmarsh, who lost technical director Paddy Lowe to Mercedes this year, said: "We can never - and certainly this year - be satisfied with where we are, so we've been recruiting on the technical side, strengthening quite a lot.
"There have been quite a few new starters this year. There are also some as yet unannounced that will be headline grabbing when they are, so there are things going on. We have to look at ourselves as a team, from the top management all the way through, as well as our technical team, to ensure we return to winning ways as quickly as possible."
Meanwhile, Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn categorically ruled out the prospect of Rubens Barrichello driving for the Swiss marque next season, despite having hinted last week that it was a possibility.