GREATER NOIDA, India – Sebastian Vettel made it a little difficult for himself on Saturday in India after his first run in the final qualifying session was spoiled by an oversteer slide in turn seven at the Buddh Int’l Circuit.
Yet, somehow the two-time defending Formula One World Champion scored yet another pole for Red Bull with his subsequent run of 1:25.283.
Teammate Mark Webber’s first run time of 1m 25.327s held up for second, but the McLarens were closer than might have been expected after FP3 with Lewis Hamilton improving to third on 1:25.544 followed closely by Jenson Button at 1:25.659.
Nevertheless, they couldn’t prevent Red Bull’s third successive front-row lockout – the first time the team have achieved the feat.
Fernando Alonso’s second run was inferior to his first, leaving him fifth on 1:25.773 from Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, who lapped in 1:25.857 on his second go. Lotus came up short for Kimi Raikkonen, who was seventh ahead of Sergio Perez for Sauber.
Pastor Maldonado took ninth for Williams, while Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg completed the top 10 without setting a Q3 time.
“Pole is the best place to start from, so I’m happy with that,” Vettel said. “We had a good qualifying session and a good weekend so far with no car issues. My first attempt in Q3 wasn’t great, I was a bit too greedy with braking into turn four, but after that we had a good second run and it was enough pole. Mclaren, Ferrari and Lotus look competitive in race trim, so we’ll see what happens tomorrow – they will be pushing hard.”