SEPANG, Malaysia — Sebastian Vettel snatched another dramatic pole for Red Bull in the closing moments of a wet third qualifying session in Sepang Saturday.
Vettel’s late run, knocked Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso from the pole with Alonso then bumped back to third by his Ferrari teammate, Felipe Massa.
Vettel turned a best lap of 1:37.899, with Massa’s second-place effort clocking in at 1:37.899.
“I think generally an interesting qualifying session,” Vettel said. “We knew that rain was the on the way and then… to be honest we expected already some [rain] at the beginning of qualifying but it didn’t come, so going out on dry [tires]. Obviously I think we had a bit of a different approach to other people. Q2 was quite on edge I would say, so probably the rain helped us a little bit.
“Otherwise I think we would have had to go out again,” he said. “But in that case it was just enough to go through to Q3. Then in Q3 with the circuit drying, it was clear it was better to change tires. We confirmed that pretty early. I think we did the right thing. Very tricky because you don’t know if there’s more rain coming or not, but we took the decision.”
Massa was pleased to qualify second.
“I don’t know if we were able to be second and third in the dry as [there were] some other quick cars, like Webber, Kimi, maybe Mercedes as well,” Massa explained. “So I think it was a good qualifying for us. We took the right decision at the start to change tires and managed to put a good lap together as well. I think maybe the rain helped a bit.”
Lewis Hamilton ended up fourth for Mercedes with Mark Webber fifth in the second Red Bull entry.