Vettel grabs pole again

Vettel grabs pole again

Force Indias Sutil to start 10th at Shanghai GP

Vettel grabs pole again

Raging bull: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in action during the qualifying round of the Shanghai GP. AFP

The German clocked one minute 34.558 seconds to pip team-mate Mark Webber with his final lap and claim his third pole position of the year –– the eighth of his career –– and justify his position as favourite in Shanghai.

"It was a fantastic lap," the 22-year-old said. "Fourth consecutive pole position for Red Bull, we have proved that we have a very fast car. But we'll see tomorrow, it could be wet."

Vettel led Australian Webber to a Red Bull one-two in the last race in Malaysia as well as in the Shanghai rain last year and he will take the lead in the drivers' championship with victory on Sunday.

While continuing one run of form, Vettel will have to break another to triumph however: None of the last five races have been won by the driver on pole.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain was third quickest for Ferrari and will line up alongside the Mercedes of German Nico Rosberg, again quicker than team-mate Michael Schumacher, on the second row of the grid. Briton Lewis Hamilton led for most of qualifying but was slower in the decisive third session and had to settle for a place on the third row of the grid alongside his McLaren team-mate and world champion Jenson Button, who was fifth quickest.

Sutil 10th
Force India driver Adrian Sutil made it to the third qualifying session (Q3) once again and will start tenth on the starting grid while Karun Chandhok of Hispania finished last.

It was a mixed qualifying session for Force India with Vitantonio Liuzzi getting caught in traffic and not prospering beyond the first qualifying session (Q1). The Italian will start 18th, eight places behind Sutil who made his fourth Q3 this season.

Karun starting from the back of the grid was more or less a certainty after the Indian F1 driver was handed a five-place grid penalty by the Shanghai race stewards for mending a broken seal on his gearbox in the absence of any FIA delegate. But with Karun finishing qualifying at the back of the field in 24th, the penalty could not affect his grid position. For Force India, the onus will still be on Sutil to stretch their point-scoring streak and the German seemed up to the task.

“Another Q3 qualifying performance for us, I think we can be very pleased with that,” Sutil said. “Again, it’s P10 –– I know this position very well from the last races in Australia and Bahrain! The car is behaving very well and we can be happy about the balance we have.”