Vettel beats Webber to pole in South Korea

Sebastian Vettel seized pole position for the inaugural South Korean Grand Prix today, forcing Red Bull team mate and Formula One championship leader Mark Webber to settle for second best.



Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will line up together on the second row of the grid in third and fourth places respectively for what could be a wet race tomorrow.



McLaren's world champion Jenson Button, the fifth title contender who is 31 points adrift of Webber, qualified only seventh after struggling to get heat in his tyres on the slippery surface.



"With so little running yesterday and this morning, it was a pretty good achievement," said Vettel of his ninth pole of the season.



Webber is 14 points clear of double world champion Alonso and Vettel, with two races remaining after Yeongam. Hamilton is a further 14 points adrift.



The championship leader must start on the dirty side of an already very dusty track but, after shaking Vettel's hand and congratulating him on a job well done, he played down the significance of that.



"Fernando will probably be pretty solid off the line but its not going to make or break the world championship," said Webber, who will have a fresh engine for the race unlike his opponents.



"I'm very happy to be second," added the Australian, his forced smile and carefully measured tone telling an entirely different story.



Webber will at least have one of the stewards rooting for him, even if rules are rules, with compatriot and former world champion Alan Jones one of the four officials for the weekend.



Vettel's pole was also Red Bull's 14th and the team's eighth front row lockout. The last driver to rack up so many poles in a single season was compatriot Michael Schumacher in 2001.



The 23-year-old, who took victory from pole in Japan two weeks' ago, has however only converted them into three wins so far.



While Alonso appeared resigned as he removed his helmet, he knew also that he had a good chance of cutting Webber's lead come race day.



"We knew we had a little possibility but not too much because Red Bull are normally quicker than us in Q3 (the third phase of qualifying," said Alonso.



"P3 (third) is our maximum potential today which in a way is good news because qualifying is not our strong point so we are in good shape for the race."



Button was the big loser of the afternoon, with the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Felipe Massa between him and his rivals, and faces an uphill battle to stay in the title hunt beyond this weekend.



"I think it's disappointing. The track temperature was quite cold and that worked against us," said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.



"It was difficult to get tyres up to temperature and the length of the track here meant you had to push hard to get two laps in. But we have got a fast race car and we are going to give it our best shot."



2010 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix, Korea

Grid positions after qualifying:

1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull 1min 35.585secs,
2 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull 1:35.659,
3 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:35.766,
4 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren 1:36.062,
5 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:36.535,
6 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:36.571,
7 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren 1:36.731,
8 Robert Kubica (Pol) Renault 1:36.824,
9 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:36.950,
10 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Williams 1:36.998,
11 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Williams 1:37.620,
12 Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) BMW Sauber 1:37.643,
13 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:37.715,
14 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India 1:37.783,
15 Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:37.799,
16 Jaime Alguersuari (Spa) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:37.853,
17 Sebastien Buemi (Swi) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:38.594,
18 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Force India 1:38.955,
19 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Lotus F1 1:40.521,
20 Timo Glock (Ger) Virgin Racing 1:40.748,
21 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus F1 1:41.768,
22 Lucas di Grassi (Bra) Virgin Racing 1:42.325,
23 Sakon Yamamoto (Jpn) HRT-F1 1:42.444,
24 Bruno Senna (Bra) HRT-F1 1:43.283



Note: Vitaly Petrov will start from 20th on the grid following a penalty



Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Sport
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices