GREATER NOIDA, India – Sebastian Vettel set himself up for a third victory in India and a sixth consecutive triumph in 2013 by clocking the fastest-ever lap around the Buddh Int’l Circuit during Saturday’s Formula One qualifying session.
The Red Bull driver, who can clinch a fourth world title by finishing fifth or higher in Sunday’s race, clocked a lap of 1:24.119 on the soft tire – seven-tenths quicker than Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who qualified in second ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
“The car felt good all weekend and it just got better as the track improved,” Vettel said. “The car was amazing; it’s a great circuit, I really like the flow of it, especially around the middle sector with the high speed corners. If the car behaves the way you want it to through that section then you’re always then going to enjoy it, as we did today.”
Mark Webber was fourth fastest in the other Red Bull, but could prove to be Vettel’s biggest challenger in the race after opting for a different strategy to his team mate and qualifying on the much more durable medium-compound tire.
Felipe Massa qualified in fifth for Ferrari, followed by his 2014 replacement Kimi Raikkonen in sixth. Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Jenson Button followed.