Vettel takes pole in Valencia

By on Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for the European Grand Prix in dominant fashion.

Vettel, 24, set his lap time of 1:38.086 at the end of the ten minute Q3 session to beat Lewis Hamilton by three tenths of a second during a qualifying session that was the closest since the current format was introduced in 2006.

Such was the intensity of Q2 that both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were knocked out and will start eleventh and thirteenth respectively, despite setting a time less than three tenths of a second slower than Q2 pacesetter Romain Grosjean.

While Vettel romped to a thirty-third career pole - placing him level with Jim Clark and Alain Prost in third place on the all time list - team mate Mark Webber could only managed nineteenth. The Australian was beset by problems throughout the day and his DRS failed when it mattered in Q1.

Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen line up fourth and fifth, ahead of Nico Rosberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta.

Heikki Kovalainen gave Caterham something to cheer about by outqualifying both Toro Rosso drivers on merit and will start from sixteenth place.

Michael Schumacher failed to make it out of Q2 and will start from twelfth, while compatriot Timo Glock was forced to miss qualifying after a lingering stomach bug meant that he had to concede defeat to the fever.

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