Sebastian Vettel on pole for Indian GP

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole for the 13th time this season

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole for the 13th time this season

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix – establishing a new benchmark of 16 poles in a single season for Red Bull Racing.

Vettel was supreme in the final 10 minutes of the qualifying session, setting times of 1:24.44s and 1:24.18s during his two single lap runs.

With next-best Lewis Hamilton only managing 1:26.43s, either of Vettels laps would have been good enough for pole.

Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button  rounded out the top five in the session, and will all benefit from Hamilton’s three-place grid penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags in Friday practice.

Felipe Massa, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari rounded out the top 10, with the final three drivers choosing not to complete a flying lap in Q3 in order to save an extra set of tyres for the race.

The session ended in dramatic circumstances, with Felipe Massa making minor head-on contact with the Turn 10 exit wall having broken his right-front suspension on the kerbing at Turn 9.

Button improved to fifth fastest on his final run, in which he passed the scene of Massa’s accident.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified 21st, but will take a five-place grid penalty for a pre-qualifying gearbox change.

Renault’s Vitaly Petrov will also start five places lower than he qualified courtesy of his collision with Michael Schumacher in the Korean Grand Prix, while Sergio Perez joined Hamilton in being penalised three places for failing to obey the yellow flags in Practice 1.

Local hero Narain Karthikeyan has also felt the wrath of the stewards, with a five-place grid drop handed to the Hispania driver for impeding Michael Schumacher in Q1. Schumacher managed to progress through to Q2 regardless of the Indian’s actions, before managing just 12th in Q2 – almost a full second adrift of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

See below for the full qualifying result

Pos

Driver

Team

Q1

Q2

Q3

Laps

1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:26.218 1:24.657 1:24.178 16
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.563 1:25.019 1:24.474 18
3 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:26.473 1:25.282 1:24.508 17
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.774 1:25.158 1:24.519 19
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.225 1:25.299 1:24.950 20
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.012 1:25.522 1:25.122 18
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.364 1:25.555 1:25.451 19
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:26.271 1:26.140 19
9 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:26.608 1:26.161 19
10 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:26.557 1:26.319 19
11 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:26.189 1:26.319 20
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.790 1:26.337 17
13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:26.864 1:26.503 15
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:26.829 1:26.537 18
15 Bruno Senna Renault 1:26.766 1:26.651 16
16 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:27.479 1:27.247 17
17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.249 1:27.562 10
18 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.876 6
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:28.565 13
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:28.752 13
21 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:30.216 11
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:30.238 11
23 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:30.866 14
DNQ Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:34.046 3

See below for Speedcafe.com’s Indian Grand Prix Race Guide

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