Saturday, November 13, 2010

Qualifying - Vettel takes vital Yas Marina pole

Sebastian Vettel will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix just where he wants, on pole position after lapping his Red Bull in 1m 39.394s. But the most important qualifying session of the year was a major disappointment for the team mate Mark Webber who managed only fifth place in 1m 39.925s and will be separated from Vettel by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Earlier, Hamilton had been fortunate to avoid the contact with Felipe Massa when, after a big slide on his first lap in Q2, he’d had to back off the pace and resumed just as the Ferrari was alongside. The former champion walloped a camera pole, but his McLaren did not sustain any damage and he recovered his momentum brilliantly to lap second quickest before his time eventually left him fifth in that session.

He already held second place as Q3 drew to its close, but trimmed his time down to 1m 39.425s to demonstrate to Vettel that he may yet have a race on his hands on Sunday. Alonso’s late improvement was bad news for Webber. The Spaniard lapped in 1m 39.792s to jump to third, ahead of Button on 1m 39.823s.

Webber will share row three with Massa, who lapped his F10 in 1m 40.202s, while Williams’ Rubens Barrichello’s 1m 40.203s left him seventh ahead of the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg on 1m 40.516s and 1m 40.589s respectively. Like Massa, both suffered in late-session traffic. Vitaly Petrov was 10th for Renault, with 1m 40.901s.

Vettel redefined the ante in Q2 with the fastest lap of the weekend thus far in 1m 39.874s, ahead of the revitalised Button, Rosberg, Webber and Hamilton. Further back, Robert Kubica surprisingly failed to make Q3, taking 11th place behind team mate Petrov with 1m 40.780s in a Renault that still seemed not to be running as well as it did on Friday.


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