Red Bull driver Mark Webber claimed pole position for the Formula One Korean Grand Prix yesterday by surprisingly qualifying ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
The Australian stormed to pole on the last lap of qualifying, finishing just 0.074 seconds ahead of Vettel. Hamilton was third, followed by championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Vettel has won the past two races, in Singapore and Japan, and would overtake Alonso in the standings with a third consecutive win today. The German had dominated practice sessions and topped the times in the first two sessions of qualifying, but when it mattered, he could not match the time set by his teammate.
Webber, pictured, who recorded only his second pole of the season after Monaco, improved his lap time by a half a second on his final run in Yeongam.
Vettel can take some comfort in the fact that neither pole-sitter in the first two editions of the Korean Grand Prix had gone on to win on the Sunday.
It was an encouraging result for Hamilton, who almost failed to advance to the second session of qualifying, making it through by just a quarter of a second. McLaren driver Jenson Button made an error and then was forced to slow for a late yellow flag in the second qualifying session and finished a disappointing 11th. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, who is third in the standings, qualified fifth, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
Lotus’s much-criticised Romain Grosjean was seventh ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. The Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were ninth and tenth respectively. Scot Paul di Resta of Force India was 14th.