Indian Grand Prix 2013: Vettel beats Rosberg to pole position
Indian Grand Prix 2013: Sebastian Vettel claims pole position for Sunday's race ahead of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix for the third straight year.
Vettel, who hopes to wrap up a fourth consecutive world drivers’ title on Sunday, clocked the fastest lap ever at the Buddh International circuit after a bold call from his pit team.
Vettel, on soft tyres, took nearly two seconds off the previous best when he flashed across the line in 1:24.119.
Tyre choice dominated the final qualifying session, with several drivers and their teams making the wrong calls.
Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was the highest placed driver on medium tyres in fourth.
Team principle Christian Horner later claimed his drivers were the architects of the split tyre strategy and hailed Webber’s performance in qualifying so well on medium compound tyres.
“Mark chose a different tyre. I have to start on the different tyre, obviously the strategy is different,” said Vettel.
“think in the end, if everybody does his bit it probably doesn’t matter so much. It’s a great result for the team, we’ll see what the result is tomorrow.”
So Vettel now stands on the verge of securing his place among the pantheon of F1 legends in Sunday’s Grand Prix – and is looking to do so in signature style.
He was fastest in every practice session, seized pole position and will now look to lead from lights-to-flag to underline his dominance.
Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg took second in qualifying, seven tenths adrift, while Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton slotted into third on the grid.
“It’s been a tough weekend, congratulations to Sebastian he showed serious pace,” said Hamilton.
“We have been pushing and we wanted to get a great result this weekend. I was surprised to be where we are.”
Fernando Alonso, the only man who can pip Vettel to a world title – though it requires an unprecedented mathematical and sporting miracle – will start from eighth and Jenson Button endured a qualifying horror show, starting in tenth.
Indian Grand Prix 2013: Qualifying times
1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 24.119s
2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.871s
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.941s
4. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 25.047s
5. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.201s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 25.248s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 25.334s
8. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 25.826s
9. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1m 26.153s
10. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 26.487s
11. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 25.519s
12. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 25.711s
13. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 25.740s
14. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 25.798s
15. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 26.134s
16. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 26.336s
17. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 26.577s
18. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 26.842s
19. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1m 26.970s
20. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1m 27.105s
21. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1m 27.487s
22. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1m 28.138s