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Sebastian Vettel clocks best time to grab pole position

Latest update : 2009-04-19

A tight qualifying session for Sunday's Grand Prix saw Sebastian Vettel earn Red Bull's first pole position on Saturday. Fernando Alonso (Renault) was second and Vettel's teammate Mark Webber grabbed the third spot.

AFP - Sebastian Vettel grabbed Red Bull's first pole position on Saturday when he clocked a late fastest lap to top the times in a gripping qualifying session for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old German, who joined the team from sister outfit Toro Rosso after earning his first career win at last year's Italian Grand Prix, went out late and nailed it in the final seconds.

Resurgent two-times world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain took second for Renault in a car fitted overnight with new floor parts and a new diffuser, his team having worked until 5am to complete the job.

Australian Mark Webber was third in the second Red Bull ahead of Brazilian Rubens Barrichello in the leading Brawn, with his teammate Briton Jenson Button fifth after taking pole in Australia and Malaysia.

Italian Jarno Trulli took sixth place for Toyota with German Nico Rosberg seventh for Williams and Finn Kimi Raikkonen eighth for Ferrari.

Defending world champion Briton Lewis Hamilton was ninth for McLaren Mercedes while Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi took 10th for Toro Rosso.

On a bright day with sunshine, qualifying began with a familiar 2009 story as the two Brawn car roared to the top of the timesheets.

But Q1 was a less happy mini-session for the BMW Sauber team and the luckless Robert Kubica of Poland who failed to make the cut.

He was 18th fastest and a weekend of experiments with KERS continued disappointingly.

Also out went the two Force Indias of German Adrian Sutil and Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, along with Brazilian Nelson Piquet of Renault and Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais of Toro Rosso.

In Q2, there was more confirmation that the field was tightening up and some improvements at Ferrari and Renault as the two Red Bulls topped the times.

Vettel was quickest with team-mate Webber second ahead of Barrichello and Button, third and fourth. All of the cars were running with the lightest possible fuel loads.

This session saw Kubica's BMW teammate German Nick Heidfeld fail to make the cut as he qualified 11th ahead of Finn Heikki Kovalainen in his McLaren Mercedes.

Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari will start 13th, German Timo Glock in a Toyota was 14th and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima in a Williams was 15th quickest.

Date created : 2009-04-18

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