VETTEL SECURES MAIDEN 2012 COTA POLE POSITION

Sebastian Vettel converted his domination of United States Grand Prix practice into the anticipated pole position at Austin, as his title rival Fernando Alonso struggled to ninth. He nearly got a surprise from Lewis Hamilton, who closed to within 0.051 seconds of the Red Bull, which was now cruising. Vettel started another flying lap and dug deeper still, crossing the line at 1m35.657s. Hamilton was still setting very competitive sector times on his last attempt, but ultimately ended up a tenth short.

Mark Webber was third fastest but over 0.5s off his Red Bull team-mate by the end of the session. Webber may also face repercussions after being called in front of the stewards having missed a weigh check during Q1. Romain Grosjean qualified fourth fastest but will start from ninth due to a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change after final practice. Kimi Raikkonen will therefore start fourth ahead of Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg. 
Pos       Driver             Team          Time        Gap   
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull       1:35.657
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren        1:35.766   + 0.109
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull       1:36.174   + 0.517
 4.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus          1:36.587   + 0.930
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus          1:36.708   + 1.051
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes AMG   1:36.794   + 1.137
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari        1:36.937   + 1.280
 8.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India    1:37.141   + 1.484
 9.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari        1:37.300   + 1.643
10.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams       1:37.842   + 2.185
Q2 Fastest time: S.Vettel 1:35.796                             
11.  Bruno Senna           Williams       1:37.604   + 1.808
12.  Jenson Button         McLaren        1:37.616   + 1.820
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India    1:37.665   + 1.869
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso     1:37.879   + 2.083
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber         1:38.206   + 2.410
16.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber         1:38.437   + 2.641
17.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes AMG   1:38.501   + 2.705
Q1 Fastest time: S.Vettel 1:36.558                               
18.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso     1:39.114   + 2.556
19.  Timo Glock            Marussia       1:40.056   + 3.498
20.  Charles Pic           Marussia       1:40.664   + 4.106
21.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham       1:40.809   + 4.251
22.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham       1:41.166   + 4.608
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT            1:42.011   + 5.453
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT            1:42.740   + 6.182
107% time: 1:43.317