Hamilton steals pole from Vettel

Hamilton steals pole from Vettel

Sutil qualifies lowly 18th for season-ending race

The outgoing world champion grabbed the 17th pole of his 52-race Formula One career to push Red Bull's German Sebastian Vettel into second place at the glittering new Yas Marina circuit that hosts Sunday's season-ender. The 24-year-old Briton was nearly 0.7 seconds quicker than Vettel in qualifying and, despite unknown fuel loads, should run away with the sport's first day-to-night race.

While both titles have been decided already in favour of compatriot Jenson Button and Brawn GP, Hamilton's McLaren team are only a point ahead of Ferrari in third place in the constructors' standings with significant prize money at stake.
Hamilton can count on the KERS energy recovery system that he said offers an advantage of three to four tenths of a second a lap at such a circuit and that the Red Bulls and Brawns lack. "The car's been probably the best it has been all year," the Briton, winner of two races after a slow start to the season, told a news conference. "It seems to really feel quite comfortable on this circuit.
"What they've done here is just incredible and it's just a real pleasure to drive here. When you've definitely got the car beneath you, it's just a great drive."
Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber, winner in Brazil, starts in third place with Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello alongside for Brawn.

Button, who clinched the drivers' championship in Brazil with a race to spare, qualified fifth for Brawn after failing to live up to the hope of a first all-British front row since 1995.

"I think both of us were a little surprised by the gap," said Vettel, who can consolidate his second place overall on Sunday.
"Lewis has been strong all weekend... it just seems that our KERS button which we have on the steering wheel is not working," he joked, knowing that the team have not had the system installed all year.

Neither Ferrari made it to the final session of qualifying, with 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen pegged back in 11th place on the starting grid for his last race with the Italian team. Italian stand-in Giancarlo Fisichella, qualified last for what will also be his last Formula One appearance before he becomes Ferrari's test driver.
Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi occupied a lowly 17th place just ahead of teammate Adrian Sutil, who qualified 18th.