Vettel digs deep to equal Mansell

Formula One Abu Dhabi GP: German grabs 14th pole of season

Sebastian VettelThe 24-year-old German, who has already clinched his second title with Red Bull, saved his best for last after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had been fastest in the first two phases of qualifying as well as final practice.

Hamilton will start the season’s penultimate race alongside on the front row, with team-mate and fellow Briton Jenson Button third.

Red Bull’s Australian Mark Webber, seemingly no closer to a first win of the season, lines up fourth. The pole was the 29th of Vettel’s career and 17th in 18 races this year for Red Bull. “I think it’s going to be a long, fun race,” said Vettel, who has won both of the two races held to date at the Yas Marina circuit, where last year he won from pole to become Formula One’s youngest champion.

“They will be very quick in the race...it will be a long fight to the chequered flag,” he added, grinning at the McLaren drivers sitting on either side in the post qualifying news conference. “I’m confident and ready.

Hamilton, who lapped just nine thousandths of a second faster than Button, appeared to have done enough for his second pole of a troubled season but Vettel pipped him right at the finish.

Ferrari’s double champion Fernando Alonso and Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa shared the third row, with the latter well away from Hamilton after six collisions between the two this year. The next rows also followed in pairs, with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher seventh and eighth and ahead of Force India’s Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta in ninth and 10th.

 

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