Abu Dhabi GP qualifying: Vettel on pole as Webber suffers

Sebastian Vettel today took a superb pole position for tomorrow’s season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Red Bull man affirmed his championship credentials through his blistering speed, beating his own time in the final Q3 session to start from first on the grid. He will be followed by Lewis Hamilton, who will have no stewards’ action taken against him despite a run-in with Felipe Massa during Q2, and a happy Fernando Alonso in third.

The other competitor for the world title, Mark Webber, will start fifth after a disappointing session in which he could not match the speed of either his team mate or the McLarens. Jenson Button starts fourth tomorrow.

Felipe Massa, in the second Ferrari, is sixth on the grid, followed by Rubens Barrichello in a handy-looking Williams. Michael Schumacher outqualified his younger Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to line up in eighth and ninth respectively, while a good performance from Vitaly Petrov saw him take tenth slot.

Those dropping out at the end of Q2 were Kubica, Kobayashi, Sutil, Heidfeld, Hulkenberg, Liuzzi and Alguersuari. The Toro Rosso man had narrowly escaped the drop at the end of Q1, and instead it was his team mate Sebastien Buemi who was the victim. Buemi starts 18th, followed by Trulli, Kovalainen, Glock, di Grassi, Senna and Klien.

Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.318s 1m39.874s 1m39.394s
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.335s 1m40.119s 1m39.425s
3. Alonso Ferrari 1m40.170s 1m40.311s 1m39.792s
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.877s 1m40.014s 1m39.823s
5. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m40.690s 1m40.074s 1m39.925s
6. Massa Ferrari 1m40.942s 1m40.323s 1m40.202s
7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m40.904s 1m40.476s 1m40.203s
8. Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.222s 1m40.452s 1m40.516s
9. Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.231s 1m40.060s 1m40.589s
10. Petrov Renault 1m41.018s 1m40.658s 1m40.901s
11. Kubica Renault 1m41.336s 1m40.780s
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.045s 1m40.783s
13. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1m41.473s 1m40.914s
14. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.409s 1m41.113s
15. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m41.015s 1m41.418s
16. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari 1m41.681s 1m41.642s
17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.707s 1m41.738s
18. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.824s
19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.516s
20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.712s
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.095s
22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.510s
23. Senna Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.085s
24. Klien Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.296s