Bulls Charge To Front Row In India

Looking to make it four wins in a row, Sebastian Vettel looked strong in Friday practice and carried his recent form into Saturday as he took pole position for the Indian Grand Prix. The winner of last year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Vettel made a mistake on his first run in Q3, running wide but made up for it as he took top spot away from his team-mate Mark Webber to record the 35th pole position of his career.

Happy to be starting from the front, the young German expressed his belief that victory wasn’t assured and there was still a long race ahead.

“Tomorrow is the race. Today is qualifying,” said a cautious Vettel. “There are no points scored today. It’s better to have him behind than in front.

“Tomorrow is going to be a long race and what sort of race it is, we are going to find out. That is why we are looking forward to the race. I am happy to be in the position we are but we go from there tomorrow.”

Webber starts second after getting pole in Korea

Mark Webber starts behind his team-mate in second and he thinks the race will be close.

“I think we are pretty good on Saturdays and we’ve shown that in the last few events now, and Sundays,” said Webber.

“But tomorrow could be a good race, I think it’s going to be tighter between all of us, but I still think that we should have enough.”

Hamilton out-qualified team-mate Button who starts in fourth

Lewis Hamilton stayed on the optimistic side of beating Red Bull and pointed to McLaren’s pace on long runs during Friday’s practice sessions as an omen.

“We are not quick enough to be ahead of these guys [on the grid] but we can definitely challenge them in the race,” Hamilton said.

“Our race pace in practice was as good as theirs so I am excited about that.”

“Ferrari had a slightly faster pace overall, but we don’t know what fuel they were on,” he said.

“If we can get a good start and have a good fight with these guys then hopefully [we will have] a better race than the last few ones we did.”

Alonso admits the race win is unlikely

Fernando Alonso put his Ferrari into fifth. Stating that the race days are brighter prospects for Ferrari than qualifying, he also remarked that Red Bull having talented designer Adrian Newey in their squad was a big boost to their title hopes.

“At the moment we are not fighting against Sebastian only,” Alonso said following qualifying. “We are also fighting against Newey let’s say – [the team] has finished first or second in the last four races.

“It is not so easy to fight, especially on Saturday, but on Sunday we are normally more competitive.

“Tomorrow we need to overtake McLaren as soon as possible and put pressure on Red Bull to wait for a little mistake, a pit stop problem, reliability or something.

“If they [Red Bull] can start, go away and have an easy race, that’s the worst news for us.”

Kimi is sure Lotus could have done better

Kimi Raikkonen was unhappy in seventh place and said that changes made to the car before qualifying bore little fruit on a track where they had little grip.

We changed the car after this morning’s session and we were quite confident heading into qualifying. Unfortunately, we didn’t seem to have any grip this afternoon so it was much more difficult than we thought,” said Raikkonen.

“I’m quite disappointed to be starting from seventh as I thought we had a much better car than that.”

Rosberg will have a fresh set of tyres due to not running in Q3

Nico Rosberg played a game of strategy as he chose not to set a time in Q3, starting tenth with a fresh set of tyres available, and the German is hopeful that it could pay off.

“In terms of our strategy for the race, it was better for us not to run in Q3 as it should give us a better pace tomorrow with fresh tyres,” Rosberg said. “Of course it’s not a nice feeling to be waiting in the pits and watching the others out there however.

“It seems that the race will be tough on the tyres with very long stints, so I should have an advantage compared to the cars in front of me. I’ll be able to tell you tomorrow if it was the right decision but I’m reasonably happy today as we looked like we have made a small improvement here.”

Indian GP Grid

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

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