Mighty Vettel claims historic Indian GP pole

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.

Sebastian Vettel made history on a couple of fronts

Oct.29 (PVM) Recently crowned double F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel delivered yet another mighty qualifying performance to notch up his 13th pole position of the season, this time for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at the impressive Buddh International Circuit near New delhi.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates his pole position in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying Day, Saturday 29 October 2011.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates his pole position in the Buddh parc ferme

Vettel made it 16 out of 17 pole positions this year for the Adrian Newey penned Red Bull RB7 which just happens to be a Formula 1 record.

For Vettel it was another commanding performance, his first run good enough for pole but to make sure the 24 year old German went out for a final run and went even faster, leaving his rivals in the dust with 1 minute 24.178 seconds lap time which was over a quarter of second up on his closest rival.

It was Lewis Hamilton who chased hard and ended runner-up on the timing screens but will drop three positions due to a penalty incurred in the first free practice session on Friday.

The 13th pole of the season, for Vettel, equals Ayrton Senna in second place for most poles in a season and trails Nigel Mansell who scored 14 top spot starts in 1992.

Both championships have already been decided, with Vettel and Red Bull retaining their titles for the second year in succession.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.

Sebastian Vettel scored his 13th pole position of the season

Vettel said after qualifying, “It was a good session for us at a new circuit, new venue. It was tricky for all of us. We’ve seen all weekend with dust on the track so in the end we ended up with one racing line clear of dirt. If you go just a little bit off that line it makes you lose time so it’s tricky. The car was fantastic since Friday and throughout qualifying. In the end there was a little bit left in the first sector. There’s a long straight after Turn Three so you want to make sure you don’t lose time. I’m extremely happy and it’s good to be here. It will be a very interesting race on a challenging circuit. It’s my first time in India and I’m excited to race.”

Mark Webber ended the session third quickest but will start, from the front row, second on the grid thanks to Hamilton’s demotion.

Hamilton reflected, “It has been a good day for me. I’m really surprised that we were able to split the Red Bulls. It’s great to be on the front row in terms of how we qualified but of course we’ve got the penalty. It was a bit of a silly mistake [on Friday] and I paid the price. We’ve still got good pace and there are two DRS zones so overtaking should be OK compared to other places. I’m still optimistic.”

Qualifying parc ferme top three (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, third; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, second.

Qualifying top three in the Buddh parc ferme

Webber, will be wondering if Hamilton’s penalty is more of a curse than good luck as he will no start on the dirty side of the grid – and at the spanking new Buddh circuit dust and the resultant lack of grip will for sure be a factor.

The Aussie said, “It was tricky to work out the right strategy for qualifying but it’s a good challenge for all of us. The first sector was tricky to get right and I could have done better on my first lap. Then I got yellow flags with Felipe so I couldn’t do my second lap. We have got a good foundation for a very good race on Sunday.”

Fernando Alonso ended fourth, in his Ferrari, on the timing sheets and will start the race from third on the grid which also happens to be the clean side. He said, “I think it was a good qualifying for us and a good weekend so far. Felipe was on top of the times in free practice yesterday. There were not too many problems in qualifying so it was a smooth Saturday. I’m in front of Jenson which is quite a nice surprise. With Lewis’ penalty, starting third will be even better. Normally our strong point is on Sunday with race pace so I’m optimistic for Sunday.”

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia crashes out of Q3.

Felipe Massa crashes out of Q3

Jenson Button’s session was compromised from Q1 when he was forced to chase a time and use up an extra set of soft tyres. He nevertheless managed the fifth best time and will start the race from fourth on th e grid. He reflected, ” This morning the car felt good but on the hard tyre I couldn’t find any grip, and nor on the soft tyre. I didn’t really get a clear lap either. I think because the tyres aren’t working on the first lap, people are backing off and trying again, so there are cars everywhere.”

Felipe Massa’s session ended in the tyre wall, when in the final stages of the session, after going off line and smashing a kerb, which broke the right front suspension.

Seventh fastest was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP, he was almost a second up on his team mate Michael Schumacher who failed to make it into Q3 and will start the race from 12th.

Flying the flag for the host country, in the Force India was Adrian Sutil who managed the eighth best time, out qualifying his team mate Paul Di Resta who will, failed to make it out of Q2, and will start 13th on the grid. Sutil did not do a flying lap in Q3, rather keeping a set of extra soft tyres for the race

The fifth row will be an all Toro Rosso affair with Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari making it through into Q3 but both opting not to set a time. They will start ninth and tenth respectively.

Report in progress….

Saturday, 29 October – Qualifying

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:26.218 1:24.657 1:24.178 16
2 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.563 1:25.019 1:24.474 18
3 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:26.473 1:25.282 1:24.508 17
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.774 1:25.158 1:24.519 19
5 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.225 1:25.299 1:24.950 20
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.012 1:25.522 1:25.122 18
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.364 1:25.555 1:25.451 19
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:26.271 1:26.140 19
9 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:26.608 1:26.161 19
10 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:26.557 1:26.319 19
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:26.189 1:26.319 20
12 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:26.790 1:26.337 17
13 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:26.864 1:26.503 15
14 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:26.829 1:26.537 18
15 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:26.766 1:26.651 16
16 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:27.479 1:27.247 17
17 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.249 1:27.562 10
18 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.876 6
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:28.565 13
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:28.752 13
21 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:30.216 11
22 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:30.238 11
23 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:30.866 14
DNQ 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:34.046 3
Q1 107% Time 1:32.222
  • Butterfly

    Why is Vettel “Mighty” and why is the pole/race “Historic” ?

  • stewy33

    Vettel has 16 poles this season (the 13 is a typo) and Vettel is world champion for the 2nd time, Vettel is now the 1st driver to get a Pole at the Buddh circuit. thats why the pole and race is histroic, and the mighty part… double world champion and is the kid is very young yet.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Q: “Why is Vettel “Mighty” and why is the pole/race “Historic” ?”


  • Tamburello_1994

    @ Stewy33

    13 poles for Vettel is correct. Red Bull has sixteen poles overall this year. No typo.

  • Butterfly

    Give me a break, he’s got the fastest and well-balanced car on the grid. There is no setup work on the RB7, he wouldn’t be taking so many poles if the McLaren/Ferrari were better.

    The kid is better than Webber, no doubt, but cut the cr** with the “Mighty” part, that’s the RB7 taking poles, not the driver.

  • stewy33

    The RB7 doesn’t drive itself… you’re making it sound like any Joe Shmoe off the streets can put the RB7 on pole (13 poles for Vettel is correct, Thank you Tamburello_1994)

  • Butterfly

    The RB7 is easy to drive, has excellent aero balance (no need for much tuning), and more downforce than any other car on the grid.

    Cry all you want, but those are the facts.

  • Tamburello_1994

    “……he wouldn’t be taking so many poles if the McLaren/Ferrari were better…..”

    Who sounds like their crying with that statement?

    Fact is The Mclaren/Ferrari isnt better and they just don’t measure up to the RB7. Nobody can contend A. Prost 4th title when he rode to victory in the the all conquering FW15 back in 1993, And nobody is gonna say the same thing now about Vettel. So dry your eyes. and stop sounding like a two-year old.

    Sebastian Vettel has had a season for the ages. He (and Red Bull) deserve all the accolades and atta-boys coming their way.

  • Butterfly

    The problem with calling Vettel the best driver on the grid is that people will actually start believing that. Heck, Vettel himself might start thinking that’s the case.

    Back in the Schumacher days, Vettel would have been the king of F1, no doubt, he’s better than Schumacher, but, you see, there are two other drivers on the grid with so much more talent that saying Vettel is the cream of the crop is an insult to those guys, and I’m not okay with that.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Statically at least, Vettel IS the best driver on the grid. And with that finger he waves, I think he does too.

    Pretty soon people are gonna start having to give this back to back World Champion his due regardless of your allegiances to other drivers or teams.

    Sorry Butterfly. Right now he’s the best.

  • Butterfly

    Are you telling me Vettel would look at Alonso or Hamilton and think “I’m a better driver than he is”? Are you f***ing kidding me?

  • F1 fan

    Sour grapes. Sebastian and Red Bull are the best of the best.

  • F1 fan

    Sour grapes. Red Bull & Vettel are making history. Just admit it and keep a good spirit about it. Alonso and Hamilton should as well too, and could push their teams like Vettel is at the moment. Even a congratulatory Schumi tells you what Red Bull has become. Stop yapping and enjoy the festivities

  • Tamburello_1994

    @ Butterfly

    As I tried to say earlier, Vettel waving the number one finger around pretty much tells me where he thinks ranks.

    He won in a TORO ROSSO. . . . How many other drivers can say that?

    If your trying to say S. Vettel is just some ham and egg’r who benefits only because he gets to drives an Adrian Newey creation, I guess you’re entitled to your own opinion, But not your own facts. I haven’t seen M. Webber lap times anywhere near Vettel’s, and I wouldn’t consider Webber some chuck-dude. Vettel is fast no matter what he has driven and to say anything less is being intellectually dishonest.

    Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?

  • Butterfly

    That Toro Rosso was the fastest car around Monza in the wet with the Newey aero and Ferrari engine, end of story. You guys are fascinated by this 24 yo kid, that’s all there is, and start projecting qualities on him that he does not have. I admit his team are the best right now, no doubt, but he is not the best racing driver on the grid. I wouldn’t even say he’s 3rd best, because I have a suspicion Rosberg & Schumacher are both ahead of him. First two are, of course, Alonso and Hamilton.

  • Butterfly

    One more thing: Webber is a rubbish driver. He’s better than Coulthard, but inferior to Vettel on these tyres.
    You people think that nice guys (like Webber) or young guys (like Vettel) have to be full of talent. Why?

    Fisichella used to drive alongside Alonso, he’s even won a few GPs, but he’s a rubbish driver, he couldn’t even drive the 2009 Ferrari. Webber is in the same category as Fisichella. Why is that hard to accept?

  • Tamburello_1994

    Has anybody else picked up on Butterfly’s little habit of giving all the credit to the cars in S. Vettel case, But Alonso and Hamilton are just awesome because they are just awesome? No mention of the cars….

    Is this what they mean when they call someone a Fanboy?