Webber turns the tables on Vettel to claim pole for Korean Grand Prix

Pole sitter Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday 13 October 2012.

Pole winner Mark Webber acknowledges the cheers after claiming pole position for the Korean GP

Oct.13 (GP247) Mark Webber showed true grit when the pressure was on to nab pole position for the Korean Grand Prix, from Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel who was easily the pre-qualifying vaourite in Yeongam.

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, pole sitter Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday 13 October 2012.Webber, whose best time of 1 minute 37.242 seconds was good enough – by 0.074 seconds - or top spot, told his crew over the radio: “Cheers guys, good job”

It was a more frosty exchange over Vettel’s radio as his engineer Guillaume Rocquelin informed him: “You’re P2. Your lap wasn’t good enough. Mark is P1.
Vettel retorted: “Why did you not tell me about Massa?”
While Rocky replied: “What was I supposed to say?”

An interesting dynamic is brewing in the energy drinks camp and being a fly on the wall during the pre-race team talk would e priceless…

Webber relished his first true pole of the season, “This is my first [pole] on track [after inheriting pole at Monaco]. I’m happy to get the job done reasonably well. We did it when it counted and that’s what it’s all about. I’m happy to start on pole, but tomorrow is the main day. Off the back of Suzuka we feel we had improved the car, but you never get ahead of yourself. We came here knowing it’s not going to be a given, we’ve got a good car here for sure.”

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday 13 October 2012.By the time Vettel was speaking in the post qualifying press conference he appeared to have cooled down, “Overall I think we can be happy with the result. We were quite quick in the first part of qualifying, we were quite quick in the second. The last run – I don’t want to blame it on Felipe. I thought he was coming in but he wasn’t and I caught him in the last sector so I had to back off. It’s not ideal. Nevertheless, the second lap wasn’t good enough. I lost a little bit in middle sector which has seemed to be ok all weekend. l think second is a good position to start with. There’s a long straight after the start so it could be interesting tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton will head up the second row, after going third fastest with Fernando Alonso set to line up beside him in the Ferrari. The gap to Red Bull not as big as expected, with the McLaren driver only 0.227 seconds down and Alonso fractionally slower than that, comparing to the morning session when Vettel was a massive half second up on his closest rival.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday 13 October 2012.Nevertheless Hamilton was under no illusions, “It’s going to be very tough to get ahead of them [the Red Bulls]. These guys have clearly made a very big step. We’ve got to keep pushing, we’re not far off. The race pace for Jenson looked good yesterday. I’m happy that I got a clear lap and was able to put the car as high as possible.”

Ferrari are hoping their race pace will count in their favour in the race, after an improved qualifying all round for the Maranello squad, team boss Stefano Domenicali commented,  “We’re never happy but we have made another step in the right direction in qualifying. The target was to start from the second or third row at least and we have. Now we focus on the race. On Friday, the race pace was not to bad. Let’s hope to have a clean start without any problems.”

Kimi Raikkonen was best of the Lotus pair with the fourth best time, and will share the third row with the Ferrari of Felipe Massa who was sixth fastest.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Qualifying, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Saturday 13 October 2012.Heading up the fourth row will be under fire Lotus driver Romain Grosjean who summed up his goal for the race immediately after setting the seventh best time,  “Hopefully tomorrow is going to be a good day for me. I need to get through the first lap without incident.”

Nico Hulkenberg was the second fastest Mercedes powered driver, with the eighth best time and heading the Mercedes (works team) pair of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher who will share the fifth row for the start.

Missing out on Q3, despite having front running pace, was Jenson Button who was forced to slow in his final run of Q2 when yellow flags were deployed as Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso ground to a halt on track. As a result the McLaren driver was doomed to 11th on the grid.

Biggest casualty in Q1 was Bruno Senna in the Williams who was confined to an early shower after missing the cut.

Final word to Red Bull team boss Christian Horner who will see his cars start from the front row of the grid for the second time in a week, this time at the Korean Grand Prix: “We just need to make sure we get through the first couple of corners OK this weekend and make sure we turn a great qualifying into a strong race result. You’ve got all the major contenders up there so it’s going to be a fascinating race.”

Korean Grand Prix Qualifying, Yeongam – Saturday, 13 October 2012

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.397 1:38.220 1:37.242 17
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.208 1:37.767 1:37.316 13
3 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.180 1:38.000 1:37.469 16
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:39.144 1:37.987 1:37.534 19
5 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:38.887 1:38.227 1:37.625 17
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:38.937 1:38.253 1:37.884 16
7 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:38.863 1:38.275 1:37.934 20
8 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:38.981 1:38.428 1:38.266 18
9 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.999 1:38.417 1:38.361 17
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:38.808 1:38.436 1:38.513 18
11 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:38.615 1:38.441 11
12 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.630 1:38.460 13
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:38.719 1:38.594 14
14 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:38.942 1:38.643 15
15 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:39.024 1:38.725 16
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:38.784 1:39.084 13
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:38.744 1:39.340 14
18 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:39.443 9
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:40.207 7
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:40.333 10
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:41.317 8
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:41.371 8
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:42.881 7
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth No time 1
Q1 107% Time 1:45.082

Note: Pic drops ten places for an unscheduled engine change. Karthikeyan failed to set a Q3 time within the 107% requirement – races at stewards’ discretion.

  • muddles

    Sebastian always has some obstacle in front of him when he doesn’t crack pole position. A very poor loser, whether on race day or in qualifying.
    He needs a good talking to by his grandfather Marko what’s his name. Both need personality transplants.

  • Terry

    Just look at finger boy vetels face… he just couldnt believe it…. Loser

  • Tamburello_1994

    Whataya know? Looks like the Bulls are peaking at the right time with five to go. Judging from the time sheet Alonso / Ferrari do not suggest they are going to be able to do much about it. Romain Grosjean is too far back on the grid to be concerned about. :) Hate to admit it but it may be another S. Vettel drive-a-way show.

    Ferrari, You’re running out of time to save Alonso’s Championship hopes.

  • Birrell

    Go the mighty man that is Mark Webber.
    A pure embassador for any sport. Another Sob Sob story of being a poor loser. Let’s hope Sob Sob does not take Mark out AGAIN.