• United States Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel secures pole position ahead of Hamilton

ESPN Staff
November 17, 2012

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the United States Grand Prix after edging out Lewis Hamilton for pole position by 0.109s. His title rival Fernando Alonso will start from eighth on the grid.

Vettel looked dominant throughout, but the McLaren gave him a run for his money as the drivers completed several laps on the medium tyres to get them up to temperature during the ten minute Q3 session. 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.

Alonso appeared to struggle to gain tyre temperature throughout the session and aborted his penultimate run to try and get some heat into his tyres. He was ninth fastest overall but will start eighth with Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado creating a heady mix on the row just behind him.

Jenson Button will start from 12th on the grid behind Bruno Senna after the McLaren suffered a loss of power midway through the second session and crawled back to the pits. The team briefly tried to solve the issue in the pit lane before rolling Button back into the pits at about the same time his time was knocked out of the top ten. Paul di Resta will start 13th ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg. Rosberg's time was particularly disappointing after he showed some impressive pace in practice. The session also saw Schumacher hold up Alonso at one point, with the Ferrari driver waving his hands in the air and complaining over the radio. An investigation may follow.

Daniel Ricciardo was the midfield casualty in Q1 after Rosberg narrowly scraped through by 0.252s. Yellow flags for Narain Karthikeyan's stricken HRT didn't help those trying to improve in the closing stages of the session, but it was a closer call than Mercedes would have liked. In a slight change in the form, the Marussias will line up ahead of the Caterhams, with the HRTs making up the final row.

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