Red Bull rout the rest

October 13, 2012 7:24 pm

Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel crushed their rivals today with a stunning display of dominance in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

The Australian edged out his German World Champion teammate after Vettel failed to improve on his initial fastest time.

World Championship leader Fernando Alonso will start 4thbehind Britain’s Lewis Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel was forced to play second fiddle to Mark Webber

As is usual for Formula One, the first knockout session saw Caterham, Marussia and the HRT team all drop out of the running, although Narain Karthikeyan departed in surprising fashion when a rear brake disc seized as he approached a braking zone. At 200mph the Indian was a helpless passenger as his car span out of control, but he was lucky and avoided contact and any potential injury. Lewis Hamilton was another lucky man, only avoiding elimination after Williams’ Bruno Senna aborted his final flying lap which spared the Mclaren driver the humiliation of an early exit from the contest.

Hamilton regained his composure in the second session as others fell by the wayside, one of whom was Frenchman Jean Eric Vergne whose Toro Rosso car broke down in the dying moments of the session. The resulting yellow flag was encountered by a desperately unlucky Jenson Button who had to slow down and was bundled out of the qualifying session down in 11th place, continuing his run of bad luck that started in Hungary some three months ago. Fellow Brit Paul Di Resta was another victim of the situation as he dropped out in 14th.

In the final session Sebastian Vettel set the initial pace as the title contenders squared up to each other, and Fernando Alonso did a stellar job to register 3rd fastest time ahead of Hamilton, who was lucky to avoid a penalty after swerving to avoid Nico Rosberg in a pitlane incident that almost became an accident. However it was Mark Webber who had crept in under the radar and snatched pole position when Vettel made a slight error on his final flying lap. Hamilton edged ahead of Alonso for 3rd, while Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher filled out the remaining top ten positions respectively.

‘I was happy with my lap there, it was solid and it’s good to get pole.’ Mark Webber commented after qualifying. ‘ It’s a great place to start the race from. I’m looking to get off the first corner very well, that’s important as there are two long straights after that.’ Red Bull’s rivals are looking to maximise their race performance in order to beat the cars from Milton Keynes.

There’s a certain Spaniard dressed in scarlet red that will be hoping he is the one that can get the job done come race day…

Anthony French

 

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