Greater Noida: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel scorched his way to the pole position for Sunday’s Formula One Indian Grand Prix whilst Force India can hope to score points in the first ever home race with Adrian Sutil qualifying for 8th position on the grid here today.
Vettel, running on soft tyres, clocked 1:24.178 to secure 13th pole position of the 2011 season, pipping McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by 0.296 secs. Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber (1:24.508) was third.
Hamilton will really start from 5th position due a three-place grid penalty for ignoring a flag warning. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was 4th, followed by McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Force India’s 2nd driver Paul di Resta did better than the final practice session in the morning but could not make the Q3 and settled for 13th position after clocking 1:26.503, just behind Mercedes GPs Michael Schumacher.
India’s Narain Karthikeyan did well to finish in 22nd position, just behind Hispania teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Karthikeyan, however, was handed a five-place grid penalty for impeding Michael Schumacher’s car during the qualifying, which means that the Indian will have to start his home Grand prix from the 24th and last position despite finishing 22nd.
Pole position holder Vettel, meanwhile, said today’s qualifying was not simple and that the race tomorrow will be a long one.
“I am happy to be here. The car was fantastic. In the end, the first sector was quite tricky. It will be a long race. It is a new track. We do not know how the tires respond. We will find out exactly what tires do tomorrow. Ideally we want to finish 1-2. It is going to be an interesting race. It was not a simple qualifying,” said Vettel.