Saturday, 8 October 2011

Vettel inches McLarens to Suzuka pole

Sebastian Vettel takes pole again, but it is much closer as he narrowly beats the McLarens.

Sebastian Vettel took pole position at Suzuka for the third year in a row, putting in an awesome final lap to beat Jenson Button by less than a hunderedth of a second. Lewis Hamilton lines up third, but will be angry that he didn't get pole, because he was fastest on his first run. Felipe Massa outqualified Fernando Alonso and lines up 4th ahead of the Spaniard who is 5th. Mark Webber was a disappointing sixth, while none of the others in Q3 set a time.
Hamilton was set for pole, but a strategic mistake cost him.

Nico Rosberg had engine trouble in the first part of qualifying, and lines up 23rd. One advantage for the Mercedes driver is that he has plenty of tyres for tomorrow. His team mate Michael Schumacher is 8th, after a bizarre incident with Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton slowing down, meaning he couldn't set a lap. Kamui Kobayashi is 7th, while the Renaults completed the top 10.

This was probably Vettel's closest pole of the year, McLaren looked quicker than Red Bull all weekend, but Vettel produced another brilliant qualifying lap, despite running wide on his pole position lap. Needing just a point tomorrow, the coronation is getting closer. Surely though Lewis Hamilton will be cross with his team, had he got another lap in, he'd probably be on pole.

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