Vettel heads Red Bull’s third successive front row

2012 Indian Grand Prix qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel continued his domination of the Indian Grand Prix weekend by taking pole position in qualifying.

He came close to missing out after a mistake on his first lap in Q3. But he recovered with his final run to keep Mark Webber from pole position.

The Red Bull drivers locked out the front row of a the grid for the third time in as many races, with McLaren and Ferrari lining up neatly behind them.


Red Bull and McLaren joined the track fairly late in Q1 to avoid having to use a set of soft tyres. They comfortably made it through, though Vettel lost his fastest time to Pastor Maldonado at the end of the session.

The Ferraris also secured safe passage through to Q2 by giving each other slipstreams on the back straight. Felipe Massa made it through despite spinning at turn 15 while on course to improve his time.

Not for the first time in 2012, Jean-Eric Vergne was eliminated in Q1. It was his team mate who delivered the final blow, pushing Vergne into the drop zone.

Paul di Resta narrowly avoided elimination after improving his time despite catching Pedro de la Rosa at the end of his lap.

Vitaly Petrov out-qualified team mate Heikki Kovalainen, who spun into a gravel trap at turn 11 at the end of the session.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’27.525
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’28.756
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’29.500
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’29.613
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’30.592
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’30.593
24 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’30.662


Vettel’s place in Q3 never looked in jeopardy – he pumped in a 1’25.435 to reach the final ten and returned to the pits, having only put a total of eight laps on his tyres during the first two parts of qualifying.

By the end of Q2 the McLaren drivers, perhaps aided by improvements in the condition of the track, had closed to within a few hundredths of a second of him. Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes also looked quick.

Massa only narrowly secured his place in Q3 with a late improvement. Fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna was also eliminated having looked quick earlier in the session.

Romain Grosjean failed to make the cut after making a mistake at turn seven. And neither Force India reached Q3 in their home race.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’26.136
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’26.241
13 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’26.331
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’26.574
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.777
16 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’26.989
17 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’27.219


The final part of qualifying did not get off to a good start for Vettel as he made a mistake on his first lap and had to return to the pits. Webber set the fastest time to begin with on a 1’25.327, followed by Alonso and Hamilton.

Vettel returned to the pits and produced a clean lap with his second effort which was enough to claim the top time back from Webber by four-hundredths of a second.

Webber had a chance to beat that with his final run. He asked for more front wing for the lap but locked up at turn three and ran wide, losing his chance for a second consecutive pole position.

That allowed Vettel to return to the pits early as they felt secure in their advantage over McLaren. Hamilton improved to third with his final run to form an all-McLaren row two.

The Ferraris shared row three after Massa posted a considerable improvement with his last lap including the fastest run through the first sector. Raikkonen, Perez and Maldonado were next, and Rosberg chose not to set a time.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’25.283
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.327
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.544
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.659
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.773
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.857
7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’26.236
8 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.360
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’26.713
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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101 comments on Vettel heads Red Bull’s third successive front row

  1. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 27th October 2012, 12:15

    C mon Renault alternator it’s you time to shine!

  2. Chaplinez (@chaplinez) said on 27th October 2012, 15:49

    So sad that this season will end this way….

  3. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th October 2012, 16:32

    I get that some people don’t like domination, and on the balance of the last 3.5 race weekends, Red Bull and Vettel have certainly been dominant.

    In my opinion – ok, you don’t like the situation. Fair enough. I don’t begrudge you that opinion.

    But should we really be complaining? F1 is a show, yes. A big show with contestants. So is something like football or MotoGP. I never liked either – and the solution is simple. Don’t watch it.

    I’m sorry, but I never had much sympathy for people who complained. No one ever promised F1 would have a riveting championship, nor have they ever promised F1 would have riveting on-track action. No one ever forced you to watch F1. It is, like everything else on the telly (except the news) a show, and as with any other show, you watch the ones you like and you don’t watch the ones you don’t like.

    Either you hate the situation enough to stop watching F1, or you like F1 enough to cover your dislike for the situation. I never liked the early 2009 F1 season due to the Brawn domination – but I liked F1 too much to give up F1 on that ground. So I put up with it and kept on watching.

    You have a remote control. Use it wisely.

    • King Six (@kingsix) said on 27th October 2012, 16:38

      I think some people are complaining way too much, and it’s funny seeing people talk about how they’ve watched F1 since the days of Senna or whatever and suddenly now, now they are getting upset at domination. No, not when Williams dominated, nor when Schumacher dominated and the races were much much worse…but now, now with Vettel and Red Bull, now they can’t handle it.

      It’s quite funny how petulant some people are with their attitudes towards Vettel and Red Bull.

      • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th October 2012, 16:43

        @kingsix To be honest I don’t care if it’s complaining against Alonso domination, Schumacher domination, Vettel domination or Karthikeyan domination.

        People could do well to emulate Gandhi’s silent protest, and turn off the bl**dy television.

        • Dizzy said on 27th October 2012, 17:01

          Those complaining about domination should perhaps go back to watching nascar & leave F1 to those who understand & appreciate what racing actually is.

          people always go on about f1 been a show & how it should be entertaining, exciting & unpredictable, but why should it?

          when i began watching f1 in the early 70s people appreciated the skill of the drivers, the engineering & the danger. i never needed constant entertainment every lap, constant action at the front or 100+ passes a race to be entertained & back then neither did anyone else.
          this constant whining about someone winning in the best car, about no action at the front & how there was only 33 overtakes is getting annoying, f1 has not & should never be solely about these things.

          if f1 bores you so much then please stop watching so the true f1 fans who fully understand/appreciate the SPORT can continue watching it without all the artificial, gimmickry crap we’ve been forced to endure the past 2 years.

          • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 27th October 2012, 17:06

            Dizzy – some people like things such as the DRS and Pirelli, some don’t. I don’t see anything wrong with that – that’s just human to have differing opinions. But if they don’t like it, they shouldn’t be complaining about it IMO. Just turn – off – the – telly.

          • brny666 said on 28th October 2012, 0:27

            Exactly. The same kind of driving was around in F1 since the beginning. I think its just a side effect of our modern culture that if we don’t get excited all the time we think it boring. Its the reason people have their ears plugged into their iPods 24/7 because silence and the sounds of nature are “boring” or the same reason the most commercially successful movies are the ones with bucket loads of action. In the 21st century people need to be constantly entertained and if that is not a given than they complain as they cannot appreciate something for what it is if they don’t get some sort biochemical reaction out of it that makes them excited.

  4. Palle (@palle) said on 27th October 2012, 21:01

    What a sad load of self-pitying, whining people in here. F1 has in recent years been and are still much more exciting than it has been ever before. Its still a great sport even if some of You don’t like RBR or Vettel. Of course F1 is about the total work performed by sponsors, constructors, designers, drivers, pit crew etc. etc. If You want to watch a sport where the result is unpredictable and created by the pure, noble athlete alone, then go watch Tour de France;-)

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