Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel leads all-Red Bull front row

Sebastian Vettel translated his domination of Indian Grand Prix practice into another pole position as Red Bull again filled the front row in qualifying at Buddh

Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel leads all-Red Bull front row

An error at Turn 7 on his first Q3 run gave Vettel's rivals a tiny hint of potential vulnerability. But the world champion responded with a 1m25.283s at the second attempt to beat team-mate Mark Webber to the top spot. Webber's retaliation was then compromised by a mistake at Turn 3.

Vettel stayed out in case he had to defend his position, before abandoning the lap once it became clear he was out of reach.

His championship rival Fernando Alonso starts back in fifth. The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button filled row two, pushing the Ferraris of Alonso and Felipe Massa down to row three.

Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus and Sergio Perez's Sauber will share row four.

Despite fearing that Williams lacked qualifying pace this weekend, Pastor Maldonado still made it into Q3 again and took ninth. Nico Rosberg also reached the pole shoot-out but did not set a time.

Several teams saw one of their drivers reach the top 10 while the other ended up in the midfield.

The second Lotus of Romain Grosjean was pushed outside the Q3 cut late on, leaving him 11th. Bruno Senna's promising start to Q2 did not translate into a top-10 appearance and his Williams fell to 13th, and Michael Schumacher was 0.6s off Mercedes team-mate Rosberg as he qualified 14th.

There were big intra-teams gaps for Force India and Sauber too, with 0.7s splitting Nico Hulkenberg in 12th and Paul di Resta in 16th, and Kamui Kobayashi a long way off emulating Perez's Q3 form in 17th.

Jean-Eric Vergne was again eliminated in Q1. Heikki Kovalainen spun into the gravel at the end of the opening segment, leaving his Caterham team-mate Vitaly Petrov free to lead the tail-end pack.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap  1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.283 
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.327 + 0.044
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.544 + 0.261
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.659 + 0.376
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.773 + 0.490
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.857 + 0.574
7. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m26.236 + 0.953
8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.360 + 1.077
9. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m26.713 + 1.430
10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time Q2 cut-off time: 1m26.939s Gap ** 11. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.136s + 0.701 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercede 1m26.241s + 0.806 13. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m26.331s + 0.896 14. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m26.574s + 1.139 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.777s + 1.342 16. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercede 1m26.989s + 1.554 17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.219s + 1.784 Q1 cut-off time: 1m27.517s Gap * 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.525s + 1.477 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m28.756s + 2.708 20. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m29.500s + 3.452 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m29.613s + 3.565 22. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m30.592s + 4.544 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m30.593s + 4.545 24. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.662s + 4.614 107% time: 1m32.071s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
shares
comments
India motorsport chief satisfied Ferrari flag not a breach of rules

Previous article

India motorsport chief satisfied Ferrari flag not a breach of rules

Next article

Indian GP: Caterham Saturday quotes

Indian GP: Caterham Saturday quotes
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Matt Beer
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021