Vettel on top in India



Sebastian Vettel left it late to take his fifth pole position of the season and lead a Red Bull front row at the Indian Grand Prix.

The championship leader was forced to abort his first lap in Q3 after a mistake at turn 6 but recovered in style to set a time just 0.044 seconds faster than teammate Mark Webber.

And there was even better news for Vettel as his title rival Fernando Alonso made a mistake on his final lap and could only manage fifth, giving the German driver a significant advantage going into tomorrow’s race.

McLaren showed much stronger pace than they had in practice to lock out the second row of the grid, with Lewis Hamilton beating Jenson Button to third place.

Felipe Massa joins his Ferrari teammate Alonso on the third row, with Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado and Nico Rosberg completing the top 10.

Romain Grosjean was the biggest casualty in Q2, missing out on the top ten shoot-out by just two hundredths of a second. He shares row six with Nico Hulkenberg, with Bruno Senna, Michael Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo behind them.

Paul di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi struggled in comparison with their teammates. Di Resta was seven tenths slower than Hulkenberg on his way to 16th, whilst Kobayashi was over a second in arrears to Sauber teammate Perez in 17th.

Jean-Eric Vergne was the big name drop-out in Q1, with Vitaly Petrov leading the usual suspects at the back of the grid in 19th. Behind Petrov is the Russian’s Caterham team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who spun out at the end of the first session and beached his car in the gravel.

Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa, Narain Karthikeyan and Charles Pic round out the grid for tomorrow’s race.

The Grid
1) Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault – 1:25.283
2) Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault – 1:25.327 (+0.044)
3) Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes – 1:25.544 (+0.261)
4) Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes – 1:25.659 (+0.376)
5) Fernando Alonso Ferrari – 1:25.773 (+0.490)
6) Felipe Massa Ferrari – 1:25.857 (+0.574)
7) Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault – 1:26.236 (+0.953)
8) Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari – 1:26.360 (+1.077)
9) Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault – 1:26.713 (+1.430)
10) Nico Rosberg Mercedes – no time in Q3
Q2 Time to Beat: 1:26.111
11) Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault – 1:26.136 (+0.025)
12) Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes – 1:26.241 (+0.130)
13) Bruno Senna Williams-Renault – 1:26.331 (+0.220)
14) Michael Schumacher Mercedes – 1:26.574 (+0.463)
15) Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:26.777 (+0.666)
16) Paul di Resta Force India-Ferrari – 1:26.989 (+0.878)
17) Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari – 1:27.219 (+1.108)
Q1 Time to Beat: 1:27.517
18) Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1:27.525 (+0.008)
19) Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault – 1:28.756 (+1.239)
20) Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault – 1:29.500 (+1.983)
21) Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth – 1:29.613 (+2.196)
22) Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth – 1:30.592 (+3.075)
23) Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth – 1:30.593 (+3.076)
24) Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth – 1:30.662 (+3.145)

Stephen D’Albiac

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