Vettel takes crucial Abu Dhabi pole

Sebastian Vettel will start the Abu Dhabi title decider from pole position, with chief rivals Fernando Alonso third and Mark Webber only fifth

Vettel takes crucial Abu Dhabi pole

The Red Bull drivers elected to do just one run in Q3, with the McLarens having already set times in the mid 1m39s a couple of minutes earlier.

Vettel immediately took provisional pole and then bettered his own time again, while Webber struggled to keep pace with his team-mate and remained behind the times the McLarens set on their first runs.

When the McLarens and Ferraris came back out for one lap at the end, Lewis Hamilton claimed a place on the front row alongside Vettel, seconds before Alonso pipped Jenson Button to the head of the second row.

Webber was left in fifth, and will start alongside Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Hamilton had survived an earlier scare in Q2 when he was still to post a decent time in the final minutes of the segment. Having already out-braked himself to ruin an earlier lap, he was searching for a gap in the traffic when he appeared to delay Massa on the way into a left hander - though Hamilton did run off the track and collect a bollard in getting out of the way.

Button had complained of a "massive vibration" in his McLaren at the beginning of Q1, but after pitting for treatment to his brakes he found his pace, finishing second only to Vettel in Q2.

Mercedes bucked the trend as Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg did the majority of their running on the harder tyre. It worked for them in the early rounds, particularly Rosberg who was second in Q1 and third in Q2, but come Q3 they did only one run each and ended up with Schumacher eighth and Rosberg ninth.

Rubens Barrichello put Williams into seventh ahead of the two Mercedes, while Renault's Vitaly Petrov completed the top 10.

His team-mate, Robert Kubica ended his run of making it through to Q3 in every race at the final hurdle. Petrov had already made it through, and sat as high as seventh during Q2, but Kubica could not match his time and the Pole's scrappy last-gasp effort fell more than a tenth short.

Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi will start alongside Kubica in 11th, with Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Nick Heidfeld (Sauber) on row seven. Brazil pole-sitter Nico Hulkenberg was just 15th for Williams, with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Jaime Alguersuari concluding the Q2 runners.

The shame of joining the six new team drivers in the elimination zone at the end of Q1 was a battle between Toro Rosso team-mates Sebastien Buemi and Alguersuari.

Buemi held the spot going onto the final laps, but Alguersuari overhauled him by just over a tenth to make it into Q2.

At the back, Jarno Trulli out-qualified Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, with Timo Glock beating Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna ahead of Christian Klien.

Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.318s 1m39.874s 1m39.394s 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.335s 1m40.119s 1m39.425s 3. Alonso Ferrari 1m40.170s 1m40.311s 1m39.792s 4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.877s 1m40.014s 1m39.823s 5. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m40.690s 1m40.074s 1m39.925s 6. Massa Ferrari 1m40.942s 1m40.323s 1m40.202s 7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m40.904s 1m40.476s 1m40.203s 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.222s 1m40.452s 1m40.516s 9. Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.231s 1m40.060s 1m40.589s 10. Petrov Renault 1m41.018s 1m40.658s 1m40.901s 11. Kubica Renault 1m41.336s 1m40.780s 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.045s 1m40.783s 13. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1m41.473s 1m40.914s 14. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.409s 1m41.113s 15. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m41.015s 1m41.418s 16. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari 1m41.681s 1m41.642s 17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.707s 1m41.738s 18. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.824s 19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.516s 20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.712s 21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.095s 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.510s 23. Senna Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.085s 24. Klien Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.296s All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Vettel leads final practice in Abu Dhabi
Previous article

Vettel leads final practice in Abu Dhabi

Next article

Webber: I'm still in the title hunt

Webber: I'm still in the title hunt
Load comments
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Plus

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021