Vettel claims pole in Turkish GP

  • AFP, Istanbul
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 14, 2011 17:12 IST

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel bounced back from his crash in practice on Friday to claim pole position in an all Red Bull front row on Saturday for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

His fourth successive pole position from the opening four races of the season was the first time this feat had been achieved since Finnish driver Mika Hakkinen in 1999.

The 23-year-old German drove his Red Bull car, dubbed 'Kinky Kylie' with great conviction despite his damaging experience the previous day, to clock an outstanding lap time of one minute and 25.049 seconds.

He clocked his lap on his first run in the top-ten shootout, the third Q3 part of qualifying, and then saved his tyres by not going out again such was his supreme confidence for the 19th pole of his remarkable career.

He was also, stunningly, four-tenths of a second ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber, who also chose to run only once in Q3, leaving both men with a spare set of tyres for the race.

German Nico Rosberg was third fastest for the improved Mercedes team, just pipping McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 champion and winner of the last Grand Prix, while two-times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was fifth fastest.

Briton Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, was sixth for McLaren ahead of Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault, German Michael Schumacher, the seven-times champion, in the second Mercedes, his compatriot Nick Heidfeld of Renault and Brazilian Felipe Massa who was 10th in the second Ferrari.

Narain Karthikeyan was once again outqualified by his Hispania Racing Team teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi. On a more positive note, the Indian was well within the 107 percent time in qualifying for the third consecutive race of the season.


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