Korean Grand Prix 2012: Red Bull’s Webber beats Vettel to take pole
Korean Grand Prix 2012: Mark Webber takes pole for Sunday's race ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber just beat Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to pole position for Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix.
The Australian was 0.074 seconds quicker than the defending champion as McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took third from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen was fifth ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean. McLaren’s Jenson Button was 11th.
“It was a tight session for all of us,” said Webber. “I think as the session unfolded, people were having different balance issues on different tyre compounds. I was happy with my lap there, it was solid and it’s good to get pole.
“It’s a great place to start the race from. I’m looking to get off the first corner very well, that’s important as there are two long straights after that.”
Vettel looked set to claim pole as he posted the quickest times in the first and second parts of qualifying but his failure to improve on his final lap allowed Webber to sneak ahead.
The German was forced to slow down after finding himself behind Ferrari’s Massa, who was about to begin his quick lap.
“Overall we can be very happy with the result,” said Vettel. “We were quite quick in the first and second qualifying sessions and had a good start to Q3.
“On the last run, I had to back off starting the lap as Massa was there, it wasn’t his fault, but I had to back off.
“Nevertheless, the second lap in Q3 wasn’t good enough. I lost time in the middle sector, which seemed to be okay all weekend, but when the circuit ramped I wasn’t able to go with it, so I lost a bit, but second is a good position so start from.
“There are long straights near the start, so it could be interesting tomorrow.”
Hamilton, who was just 0.065 seconds ahead of championship leader Alonso, said: “It’s going to be very tough to get ahead of them but we have put ourselves in as good a position as I could.
“We’re not that far off. Race pace looked quite good yesterday and I’m just happy to have had a good lap.”
Korean Grand Prix 2012: Starting grid
1. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 37.242s
2. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 37.316s
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 37.469s
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 37.534s
5. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 37.625s
6. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 37.884s
7. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 37.934s
8. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 38.266s
9. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 38.361s
10. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 38.513s
11. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 38.441s
12. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 38.460s
13. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 38.594s
14. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 38.643s
15. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 38.725s
16. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 39.084s
17. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 39.340s
18. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 39.443s
19. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 40.207s
20. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 40.333s
21. Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 1m 41.317s**
22. Timo Glock Germany Marussia -Cosworth 1m 41.371s
23. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 42.881s
24. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth no time Q1