US Grand Prix 2012: Sebastian Vettel pips Lewis Hamilton to pole

US Grand Prix 2012: Sebastian Vettel wins battle with Lewis Hamilton to take pole position in Austin, Texas

sebastian vettel
Sebastian Vettel can wrap up the title on Sunday Photo: Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Racing

sebastian vettel

Sebastian Vettel edged a step closer to a third straight world title when he stormed to pole position for Sunday’s US Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was just 0.109 seconds quicker than McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, after having topped all three practice sessions in Austin, Texas.

Vettel’s title rival Fernando Alonso could only manage ninth, but the Spaniard will start from eighth following Romain Grosjean’s five-place grid penalty.

“We’re very pleased,” Vettel said. “It was extremely slippery to start with. The circuit is brand new and it takes a while to come in, but it was quite a lot of fun to slide a couple of corners.

“In the final section I would have loved to have gone a bit quicker. It was a bit closer than I wanted, but it’s fantastic to start on the front and on the clean side.”

US Grand Prix 2012: Starting grid

1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 35.657s

2. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 35.766s

3. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 36.174s

4. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 36.587s*

5. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 36.708s

6. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 36.794s

7. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 36.937s

8. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 37.141s

9. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 37.300s

10. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 37.842s

11. Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 37.604s

12. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 37.616s

13. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 37.665s

14. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 37.879s

15. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 38.206s

16. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 38.437s

17. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 38.501s

18. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 39.114s

19. Timo Glock Germany Marussia -Cosworth 1m 40.056s

20. Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 1m 40.664s

21. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 40.809s

22. Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 41.166s

23. Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 42.011s

24. Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth 1m 42.740s

* denotes driver due to take five-place penalty

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