2013 KOREAN GP: VETTEL SECURED 3RD POLE IN ROW

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has taken his sixth pole position of the season, making him the driver who has now sealed pole position more often than anyone else this year. Vettel, who claims his second pole position in Korea, did a 1m37.202s lap on the supersoft tyres. Interestingly, for the three years that the Korean Grand Prix has been run, the polesitter has never won. Vettel and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton share the front row for the fifth time this season.

Conditions were warm and dry for qualifying, in ambient temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade, with most of the drivers starting on the medium tyre. The Marussias and Caterhams, as well as the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, were first to use the supersoft tyres, while the supersoft-equipped Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen was quickest of all at the end of the session.

All the drivers started Q2 on the supersoft tyre, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton setting the initial benchmark. He was topped by Vettel, who went quickest with three minutes to go after a single run on the supersoft. That time was good enough for the Red Bull driver to maintain the fastest time to the end.

With the track constantly evolving, timing was important during Q3, which was run exclusively on the P Zero Red supersoft tyres. The Red Bull drivers went out early for the first of two runs, followed closely by both Mercedes, with Vettel going quickest. The Ferraris and the Saubers tried a different tactic by opting for just one run at the end, while Lotus split their strategies, with Romain Grosjean completing two runs and Kimi Raikkonen doing just one.

The big question mark is the weather, rain showers have been predicted for Saturday night and Sunday morning. Race itself should remain dry, with temperatures expected to be cooler than weekend so far.
 P.    DRIVER               TEAM                  TIME       GAP  
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull              1:37.202
 2. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes              1:37.420   + 0.218
 3. Mark Webber           Red Bull              1:37.464   + 0.262
 4. Romain Grosjean       Lotus                 1:37.531   + 0.329
 5. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:37.679   + 0.477
 6. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:38.038   + 0.836
 7. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:38.223   + 1.021
 8. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber                1:38.237   + 1.035
 9. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber                1:38.405   + 1.203
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus                 1:38.822   + 1.620
  Q2 fastest time: Sebastian Vettel 1:37.569                 Gap  
11. Sergio Perez          McLaren               1:38.362   + 0.793
12. Jenson Button         McLaren               1:38.365   + 0.796
13. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso            1:38.417   + 0.848
14. Adrian Sutil          Force India           1:38.431   + 0.862
15. Paul di Resta         Force India           1:38.718   + 1.149
16. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso            1:38.781   + 1.212     
  Q1 fastest time: Kimi Raikkonen 1:38.341                   Gap  
17. Valtteri Bottas       Williams              1:39.470   + 1.129
18. Pastor Maldonado      Williams              1:39.987   + 1.646
19. Charles Pic           Caterham              1:40.864   + 2.523
20. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham              1:40.871   + 2.530
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia              1:41.169   + 2.828
22. Max Chilton           Marussia              1:41.322   + 2.981  
107% Time: 1:45.224