Vettel vaults to pole in Abu Dhabi

Young gun Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel fired the opening shot of this tantalisingly poised Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by seizing pole position on a tricky Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday night.

By James Jose

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Published: Sun 14 Nov 2010, 10:23 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:52 AM

The 23-year-old German, locked in a four-way title battle with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, reeled off a quickest lap of 1:39.394 seconds in Q3 to take pole. Vettel had a time of 1:40.318 in Q1 and 1:39.874 in Q2.

It was Vettel’s 10th pole of a dream season and it would be the icing on the cake, if he leads from start to finish to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and take his maiden F1 crown.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who has an outside chance at a second title, was second quickest with a time of 1:39.425 seconds. The Briton, who took pole here last year and lead the race before retiring after 18 laps because of a brake problem, had a time of 1:40.335 seconds in Q1 and 1:40.119 seconds in Q2.

Championship leader Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third as he logged a time of 1:39.792 seconds. The Spaniard logged a time of 1:40.170 in Q1 and a time of 1:40.311 in Q2.

Outgoing world champion Jenson Button had a strong qualifying run to finish fourth with a time of 1:39.823 seconds. Button was 1:40.877 in Q1 and 1:40.014 in Q2.

Alonso’s closest contender Red Bull’s Mark Webber has all the work to do after a disappointing qualifying. The Australian was fifth with a time of 1:39.925 seconds. Webber logged a time of 1:40.690 seconds in Q1 and 1:40.074 in Q2.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was sixth followed by Williams’ Rubens Barrichello. Massa had a time of 1:40.202 seconds, while Barrichello logged a time of 1:40.203 seconds.

Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher was eighth with a time of 1:40.516 seconds. He was followed by hi Mercedes GP teammate and compatriot Nico Rosberg. Rosberg had a time of 1:40.589. Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who is rumoured to be without a seat, completed the top 10 with a time of 1:40.901 seconds.

His teammate and potential world champion Robert Kubica didn’t make it into Q3 after he was eliminated in Q2.

Earlier, Vettel topped the timesheets in the third free practice. The German, had topped the first session on Friday, before Hamilton had upstaged him in the second. Vettel had a time of 1:40.696 seconds, 0.133 seconds ahead of teammate Webber. Webber had a time of 1:40.829 seconds, while Hamilton was third after logging a time of 1:41.280 seconds.

Alonso was fourth quickest with 1:41.490 seconds. Button, who was pretty happy with the set-up of his MP4-25, looked strong before running wide in the final sector.

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