YEONGAM, Korea — Sebastian Vettel appeared to have pole position all locked up after the first runs in Q3 during qualifying Saturday for the Korean Grand Prix, but his Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber, upped the ante in the second set of runs and claimed the top qualifying position.
Still, the Red Bull cars will share the front row with Webber’s one minute and 37.242 second run, besting the one minute and 37.316 effort of Vettl, who has won two consecutive grands prix.
“Overall we can be very happy with the result. We were quite quick in the first and second qualifying sessions and had a good start to Q3,” Vettel explained. “On the last run, I had to back off starting the lap as Massa was there, it wasn’t his fault, but I had to back off. Nevertheless, the second lap in Q3 wasn’t good enough. I lost time in the middle sector, which seemed to be okay all weekend, but when the circuit ramped I wasn’t able to go with it, so I lost a bit, but second is a good position so start from. There are long straights near the start, so it could be interesting tomorrow.”
Webber was satisfied with second.
“It was a tight session for all of us,” Webber said. “I think as the session unfolded, people were having different balance issues on different tire compounds. I was happy with my lap there, it was solid and it’s good to get pole. It’s a great place to start the race from. I’m looking to get off the first corner very well, that’s important as there are two long straights after that.”
Lewis Hamilton qualified third for McLaren with point leader Fernando Alonso fourth in a Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Lotus.