Korean GP: Sebastian Vettel beats Lewis Hamilton to pole position

Sebastian Vettel took his third straight Formula 1 pole as he beat Lewis Hamilton in Korean Grand Prix qualifying

Korean GP: Sebastian Vettel beats Lewis Hamilton to pole position

Practice had suggested that Mercedes would be able to give Red Bull a much harder time in qualifying at least at Yeongam.

But in the event Sebastian Vettel's initial Q3 lap of 1m37.202s put him 0.308 seconds clear of the leading Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

That lap had put Hamilton in third behind the second Red Bull of Mark Webber.

Although Hamilton was able to get ahead of the Australian on his final pole shot, he was still 0.218s adrift of Vettel, who was able to back off his own last lap, confident pole was secure.

Webber also abandoned his final lap and stayed third in the times, which will become 13th on the grid when his 10-place grid penalty for accumulating three driving reprimands is applied.

That will elevate Romain Grosjean to third, the Lotus driver having outpaced the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Ferrari duo Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Grosjean's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen could only manage 10th, 1.3s slower.

For the first time this year, Sauber got both cars into Q3, with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez eighth and ninth quickest.

Sauber's qualifying breakthrough came at McLaren's expense.

Despite encouraging signs in practice, the silver cars found themselves back in 11th and 12th, with Sergio Perez and Jenson Button missing Q3 by just 0.035s and 0.038s respectively.

The Toro Rossos and Force Indias were also eliminated in Q2, while neither Williams made it beyond Q1, although Valtteri Bottas could at least be pleased to outqualify Pastor Maldonado by half a second.

Charles Pic squeezed ahead of Caterham team-mate Giedo van der Garde by 0.007s to lead the rear quartet.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap  1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.202s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.420s +0.218s 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.464s +0.262s 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.531s +0.329s 5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.679s +0.477s 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.038s +0.836s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m38.223s +1.021s 8. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.237s +1.035s 9. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.405s +1.203s 10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m38.822s +1.620s Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.327s Gap ** 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.362s +0.793s 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.365s +0.796s 13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.417s +0.848s 14. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m38.431s +0.862s 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.718s +1.149s 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.781s +1.212s Q1 cut-off time: 1m39.175s Gap * 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m39.470s +1.129s 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m39.987s +1.646s 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m40.864s +2.523s 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m40.871s +2.530s 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.169s +2.828s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.322s +2.981s 107% time: 1m45.224s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2


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Korean GP: Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull on top in final practice

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Sebastian Vettel
Author Matt Beer
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