• Korean Grand Prix - Qualifying

Webber snatches pole from Vettel

Chris Medland October 13, 2012

Mark Webber took pole position for the Korean Grand Prix, beating team-mate Sebastian Vettel with his final lap of the session.

Vettel had provisional pole after the first runs and was last on an ever-improving track for the final laps, but Webber went quickest by less than 0.1s and Vettel couldn't respond. It was an impressive result as Webber missed out on running the supersoft tyres in FP3 due to an engine software problem.

Lewis Hamilton recovered to take third place on the grid - just 0.2s behind Webber - with Fernando Alonso fourth and Kimi Raikkonen fifth as the main title contenders start in a row.

Raikkonen may be a little uneasy, however, as he could be investigated for improving under yellow flags in Q2. That incident left Jenson Button out of the top ten, with Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and the two Mercedes completing the first five rows.

Button's luck was out when Daniel Ricciardo pulled off the track at turn 15 having had a gearbox problem. Raikkonen, Grosjean and Rosberg all improved despite yellow flags being out in the final sector, but Button didn't set a personal best sector three and dropped out in 11th place.

Also dropping out were Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi, Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado, Ricciardo and his Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, with only Perez improving his time with the yellow flags waving.

Alonso and Hamilton both had worrying first sessions in qualifying as many drivers reverted to using the supersoft tyres. Alonso was one of those to use the supersofts while Hamilton stayed in the pits, and in the end a set-up problem for Bruno Senna meant both Alonso and Hamilton scraped through in 16th and 17th respectively.

Senna dropped out alongside the usual suspects but in a slightly different order. Vitaly Petrov took 19th place ahead of his team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, while Charles Pic was 21st as he just snuck ahead of Timo Glock.

Narain Karthikeyan had a worrying moment when he span under braking for turn three. Karthikeyan lost the rear and slid at high speed across the corner, coming close to the rear of Hulkenberg's Force India as he did so. HRT later confirmed that it was a front right brake failure as he failed to set a time, but should be allowed to race having been within 107% during both practice sessions he has participated in this weekend.

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season