Vettel storms to Korea pole position
5 October 2013 – Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel backed up his final practice form by claiming a fine pole position for the Korean Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon. The German, who delivered a 1:37.202, outpaced Lewis Hamilton by 0.218 seconds. Mark Webber finished third, but will start from 13th after his 10-place grid penalty.
As the final shootout phase approached it was Vettel who held the advantage, having topped the second segment. He then strengthened his grip on proceedings, setting his ultimate pole time on the first of two scheduled runs. Hamilton emerged as the reigning World Champion's main challenger, but he was unable to move ahead.
Third thus went to Webber who, like team-mate Vettel, abandoned his final attempt. Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes were close to usurping the Australian, but still start ahead due to the aforementioned penalty.
Fernando Alonso picked up the scraps for Ferrari in sixth, finishing over eight tenths of a second slower than pole-sitter Vettel. Felipe Massa followed his team-mate, ahead of Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez who gave Sauber its first double shootout appearance of the season. Kimi Räikkönen rounded out the top ten places for Lotus.
McLaren endured a troublesome afternoon as both Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button failed to make the Q3 cut, although the latter felt that traffic in the form of Räikkönen's Lotus cost him a chance of progressing. The Toro Rossos of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Éric Vergne were unable to recover from their Friday struggles en route to 13th and 16th, with Force India's Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta sandwiching the pair.
Both Williams drivers disappointingly fell at the first qualifying hurdle; rookie Valtteri Bottas placed ahead of Pastor Maldonado for the consolation of intra-team honours. At the back, Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde put Caterham in front of Marussia duo Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton as the battle for 10th in the standings continues.
Sunday's 55-lap Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit gets underway at 3pm local time (GMT +9) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature