Vettel grabs another pole for Indian GP
New Delhi, India – Sebastian Vettel won the pole for Sunday's Indian Grand Prix, while his teammate, Mark Webber, qualified second to give Red Bull the front starting row in a race for the third straight time.
Vettel, the two-time defending Formula One world champion, made a lap around the 3.192-mile, 16-turn Buddh International Circuit in 1 minute, 25.283 seconds during Saturday's qualifying session. The young German recorded his fifth pole of the season and the 35th of his F1 career.
During the opening moments of the final qualifying segment (Q3), Vettel oversteered in turn seven and ran off course on his first lap but turned in his fastest time of the session on his subsequent lap.
Vettel has been perfect in India this weekend, posting the quickest times in all three practice sessions before winning the pole here for the second straight year. In 2011, Vettel led all 60 laps to win the inaugural Indian GP.
"It was a tight session, especially in the end when I had a mistake during my first run," Vettel said. "Fortunately, I got the next lap together, and I was very happy with the lap itself. All in all, it has been a great weekend so far."
Vettel, who is the current points leader, is attempting to win his fourth consecutive grand prix. He put on dominating performances in Singapore, Japan and Korea. Vettel enters the Indian GP with a six point lead over Fernando Alonso from Ferrari.
"You know a lot of things can happen in the races these days," Vettel noted. "I'm very happy to be on pole, and it's the best possible position to start. There's a hard race coming up tomorrow. I think we had a bit of a surprise on Friday in terms of long runs. Everyone was quite competitive."
Webber, who won the pole two weeks ago in Korea, qualified 0.044 seconds behind Vettel.
"It wasn't the smoothest session for (Vettel) and also for me," Webber said. "The lap itself wasn't too bad, but on the last corner, I got on the Astroturf through the exit, which didn't give me the cleanest run to the start/finish line, so that was disappointing."
Lewis Hamilton qualified third, followed by his McLaren teammate, Jenson Button.
"The team has done a great job this weekend in setting up the car and putting us on the second row," Hamilton said. "We weren't quick enough to be ahead of (Red Bull), but we can definitely challenge them in the race. I think our race pace was just as good as them during practice."
Alonso and Felipe Massa placed their Ferraris fifth and sixth, respectively, on the starting grid.
Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus took the seventh spot, while Sauber's Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado from Williams and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg completed the top-10. Michael Schumacher will start 14th in his Mercedes.
The Indian GP is scheduled to start at 5:30 a.m. (ET).