Yeongam (South Korea), 5 October
Runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel grabbed pole position today for the Korean Grand Prix, pipping Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was third fastest in qualifying for Sunday’s grand prix but a 10-place grid penalty from the previous race in Singapore relegates him to a lowly 13th.
In-form Romain Grosjean of Lotus was fourth fastest at an increasingly overcast Yeongam circuit, ahead of Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg.
They will line up together on the second row because of Webber’s reprimand for hitching a lift with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at the end of the Singapore race two weeks ago.
Alonso, who is the closest challenger to Vettel in the title race but still a hefty 60 points behind with six races left, was sixth fastest.
His team-mate Felipe Massa, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez, both of Sauber, and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top 10.
Vettel’s third pole position on the trot came courtesy of a scorching time of 1min 37.202sec, edging out Hamilton with 1min 37.420sec.
Victory on Sunday for Vettel, 26, would see him put one hand on the drivers’ crown ~ for what would be his fourth world title on the trot. The peerless German clenched his fist and held up a single finger to signal his status as number one as he returned from his lightning lap.