Formula 1 News

Indomitable Vettel takes Indian pole

By claiming his 13th 'pole' of the year, the German took another step for to brake Mansell's record of 14. Webber an Alonso will follow on the grid.
Saturday, October 29, 2011

GREATER NOIDA, India, Oct 29, 2011 (AFP) - World champion Sebastian Vettel raced to his 13th pole position of the year at the Indian Grand Prix Saturday as he bids to equal Michael Schumacher's record for most wins in a season.

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The young German, who reclaimed his title this month in Japan, heads an all-Red Bull front row at India's first Formula One race after Lewis Hamilton, who qualified second, was put back three places for an earlier infringement.

Vettel is now just one off Nigel Mansell's 1992 record of 14 poles in one year, and he can match Schumacher's achievement of winning 13 races in 2004 if he is victorious in all three remaining races.

"At the end my lap wasn't 100 percent but you always get out of the car thinking (that)," said Vettel, 24. "It's good to start the race from the front tomorrow. I think it's going to be an interesting race."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will start in third place at Buddh International Circuit on Sunday with Jenson Button, vying to hang on to second place in the standings, fourth.

Button's McLaren partner Lewis Hamilton will begin his challenge from fifth after being penalised three grid places for ignoring warning flags during free practice on Friday.

And Ferrari's Felipe Massa will start sixth despite a dramatic crash in the dying seconds when his front wheel was knocked askew by a kerb and he ploughed nose-first into the barriers. The Brazilian was not hurt in the incident.

Vettel led the drivers into the 10-minute final session and he was never headed as he clocked 1min 24.178sec to take the honours on the dust-strewn course near New Delhi.

But seven-time champion Schumacher failed to reach the top-10 shoot-out after barely squeaking into the second qualifying segment in a disappointing outing.

India's Narain Karthikeyan was penalised five places for impeding the German in the first qualifying segment, and will start from the back of the grid."You should try to stay out of the way of people who are qualifying," said

Schumacher, who gesticulated angrily at the HRT driver as he finally went past.

"When you're the person who receives this, you don't feel happy about it."Button wore a black armband in memory of British IndyGP driver Dan Wheldon while Massa wore a '58' sticker on his helmet to commemorate MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli.

Both racers died in competition in a tragic month for motorsport, casting a shadow over preparations for India's first ever grand prix held on a dusty development site near New Delhi.

High excitement over the event has been tempered by disquiet at the massive disparity between Formula One's super-rich and local people living in one of the world's poorest regions.

But organisers are already celebrating a smooth inauguration of the $400 million circuit as a boost for India's image after the embarrassment of last year's shambolic New Delhi Commonwealth Games.

2011 Indian Grand Prix Qualifying results

PO.
NO.
DRIVER
TEAM
Q3
Q2
Q1
LAPS
1
1
Sebastian Vettel
RBR-Renault
1:24.178
1:24.657
1:26.218
16
2
3
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren-Mercedes
1:24.474
1:25.019
1:26.563
18
3
2
Mark Webber
RBR-Renault
1:24.508
1:25.282
1:26.473
17
4
5
Fernando Alonso
Ferrari
1:24.519
1:25.158
1:26.774
19
5
4
Jenson Button
McLaren-Mercedes
1:24.950
1:25.299
1:26.225
20
6
6
Felipe Massa
Ferrari
1:25.122
1:25.522
1:27.012
18
7
8
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
1:25.451
1:25.555
1:26.364
19
8
14
Adrian Sutil
Force India-Mercedes
No time
1:26.140
1:26.271
19
9
18
Sebastien Buemi
STR-Ferrari
No time
1:26.161
1:26.608
19
10
19
Jaime Alguersuari
STR-Ferrari
No time
1:26.319
1:26.557
19
11
10
Vitaly Petrov
Renault
1:26.319
1:26.189
20
12
7
Michael Schumacher
Mercedes
1:26.337
1:26.790
17
13
15
Paul di Resta
Force India-Mercedes
1:26.503
1:26.864
15
14
12
Pastor Maldonado
Williams-Cosworth
1:26.537
1:26.829
18
15
9
Bruno Senna
Renault
1:26.651
1:26.766
16
16
11
Rubens Barrichello
Williams-Cosworth
1:27.247
1:27.479
17
17
17
Sergio Perez
Sauber-Ferrari
1:27.562
1:27.249
10
18
16
Kamui Kobayashi
Sauber-Ferrari
1:27.876
6
19
20
Heikki Kovalainen
Lotus-Renault
1:28.565
13
20
21
Jarno Trulli
Lotus-Renault
1:28.752
13
21
23
Daniel Ricciardo
HRT-Cosworth
1:30.216
11
22
22
Narain Karthikeyan
HRT-Cosworth
1:30.238
11
23
25
Jerome d'Ambrosio
Virgin-Cosworth
1:30.866
14
DNQ
24
Timo Glock
Virgin-Cosworth
1:34.046
3
Q1 107% Time 1:32.222

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