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Indian F1 qualifying results

2011-10-29 11:37

BUDDHING CIRCUIT: There's been high praise from drivers for the new Indian F1 circuit - but dust and general track dirt proved problematic during qualifying.

Talek Harris

World champion Sebastian Vettel raced to his 13th pole position of the season in a dramatic qualifying session for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The 24-year-old German clocked 1min 24.178sec to outstrip McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber at the purpose-built Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi.


Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was fourth with McLaren's Jenson Button, vying to hang into second place in the standings, fifth.

But Felipe Massa was a casualty just seconds from the finish when his right front wheel was knocked askew by a kerb and his Ferrari ploughed into a barrier nose-first.

Hamilton will also be forced to drop three places back on the grid in a penalty handed out on Friday for ignoring warning flags.

Vettel led the drivers into the 10-minute final session and was never headed as he neared Nigel Mansell's 1992 record of 14 pole positions in a season.

Victory at India's first grand prix would also keep Vettel on course to equal fellow German Michael Schumacher's record of 13 wins in a season, set in 2004. Vettel, 24, has 10 wins with three races remaining.

Button, Webber, Hamilton and Alonso are all vying for second spot in the standings after Vettel reclaimed his Formula One crown in Japan earlier this month.

But seven-time champion Schumacher failed to reach the top-10 shoot-out after barely squeaking into the second qualifying segment in a disappointing outing.


Button wore a black armband in memory of British IndyGP driver Dan Wheldon while Massa wore a '58' sticker on his helmet to commemorate MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli.

Both racers died in competition in a tragic month for motorsport, casting a shadow over preparations for India's first ever grand prix held on a dusty development site near New Delhi.

High excitement over the event has been tempered by disquiet at the massive disparity between Formula One's super-rich and local people living in one of the world's poorest regions.

But organisers are already celebrating a smooth inauguration of the $400 million Buddh International Circuit as a boost for India's image after the embarrassment caused by last year's shambolic Commonwealth Games.

2011 Indian Formula 1 GP qualifying result

1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min24.178
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min24.474
3 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min24.508
4 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min24.519
5 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min24.950
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min25.122
7 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min25.451
8 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India No time
9 Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso No time
10 Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso No time
(Hamilton with start fifth because of a three grid-place penalty imposed on Friday.)

11 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1min26.319
12 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min26.337
13 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min26.503
14 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min26.537
15 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Renault 1min26.651
16 Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 1min27.247
17 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min27.562

18 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min27.876
19 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1min28.565
20 Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus 1min28.752
21 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) HRT 1min30.216
22 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min30.238
23 Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin 1min30.866
24 Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 1min34.046


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