McLaren's Lewis Hamilton claimed his maiden pole of the season while Sahara Force India's Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil secured place among the top 10 in the Formula One Korean Grand Prix qualifying here Saturday.
Hamilton's time of 1min 35.820sec halted Red Bull's domination in qualifying which had seen Sebastian Vettel bagging 12 pole positions in the 15 races so far in the season and teammate Mark Webber taking three. Vettel, who pocketed his second consecutive world title in Japan last week, will start second on the grid ahead of Jenson Button in the second McLaren.
Both Sahara Force India's racers will be in the hunt for points in the Sunday's race after di Resta and Sutil's effort of 1:38.549 and 1:38.789 put them ninth and tenth, respectively. The two drivers, however, did not set a time in Q3.
It would be fitting for the Silverstone-based team to score a double points finish after it found a co-owner in Sahara's Subrata Roy Wednesday.
"We looked quite strong throughout the session, although we seemed to be very close on performance with the cars around us - so it was a tight session as well," said di Resta.
"It is good to make Q3 and it puts me in a strong position tomorrow, especially starting from the clean side of the grid. For the race the important thing is to be aggressive with our strategy because there are some fast cars behind us, including a Mercedes, and we need to work hard to keep them at bay. That won’t be easy because I expect the DRS zone to be quite effective here."
Sutil was satisfied with his performance as the team hardly got time due to the incessant rains that disturbed the practice sessions at the Korea International Circuit.
“Considering the limited dry track time we had during practice, I think we can pleased with our performance level, said Sutil.
"Getting both cars in the top ten is a good result and we can have a strong race from there. I took the decision to save tyres during Q3 and I believe it was the right thing to do. Having as many new sets for the race is an advantage - that is something we have already seen in lots of races this year. Starting from the dirty side of the track is not ideal, but there is not a very long run to the first corner so let's see how the start of the race unfolds.”
Force India are currently sixth in the Constructor's Championship with 48 points and aim to dislodge Renault for the fifth place by the season finale