Vettel takes pole in European Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel again destroyed the field in qualifying ahead of tomorrow's European Grand Prix as he clinched his seventh pole in eight races this season.

It is the 22nd pole of Vettel's career, and the ninth in a row for Red Bull stretching back to the end of last season.

In claiming all eight this season, it is the first time a team has managed such a feat since McLaren started 1998 with nine successive poles.

Reigning champion Vettel became the first driver to set a sub one minute 37-second lap witnessed at the Valencia Street Circuit.

Vettel posted a time of one minute 36.975 seconds, finishing 0.188secs ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, who pipped Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren late on, leaving the Briton to start third.

Despite teams being forced to run the same engine mapping - without using tweaks to enhance performance - for qualifying as in the race, that mattered little to Red Bull.

Behind the leading trio will be Ferrari duo Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in fourth and fifth, with Jenson Button sixth in his McLaren, finishing almost 0.7secs behind Vettel.

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher line up seventh and eighth for Mercedes, with Renault's Nick Heidfeld ninth and Adrian Sutil 10th for Force India.

There were few surprises in a disrupted 15-minute second session in which Pastor Maldonado caused a red flag after his Williams ground to a halt on track.

The Venezuelan, who starts 15th, appeared to suffer an engine issue prior to stopping and bizarrely then parked his car in the middle of the circuit.

A four-minute delay followed whilst his car was retrieved, at which stage there were eight minutes of action remaining in Q2.

The top six drivers at that point in Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Webber and Rosberg opted not to venture back out, knowing they had done enough.

In the closing stages Sutil dropped Vitaly Petrov down to 11th by a mere 0.034secs, with the Russian lining up in 11th ahead of Paul di Resta who finished 0.388secs behind his Force India team-mate.

Williams' Rubens Barrichello starts 13th, Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi 14th ahead of Maldonado, with the second Sauber of Sergio Perez occupying 16th on the grid, and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi 17th.

For 21-year-old Mexican rookie Perez, he at least completed his first qualifying session since the Spanish Grand Prix.

Perez then crashed in qualifying in Monaco, suffering concussion, the effects of which ruled him out of the race a fortnight ago in Canada.

Prior to that Webber scraped into Q2 by just three tenths of a second, finishing 16th in the opening 20-minute session in which Jaime Alguersuari in his Toro Rosso was again the man to miss out.

The Australian stayed loyal to the harder medium compound tyres that are being used for the first time this season, whilst those around him all switched to the faster soft rubber in the closing minutes.

The gamble almost backfired on Webber, but it now means he has an extra set of soft tyres which will be critical for the race.

As for Alguersuari, it is the third successive race he has failed to make Q2, with the 21-year-old starting 18th on home soil.

Behind him will be the Lotus duo of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, followed by Virgin's Timo Glock and Vitantonio Liuzzi in his Hispania in 21st and 22nd.

On the final row of the grid will be Jerome D'Ambrosio for Virgin and Hispania's Narain Karthikeyan, who has propped up the timesheet all weekends, but survives the 107% cut-off by a full second.

Referring to the ban on engine mapping, last year's winner Vettel said: "There was a lot of talk going into this grand prix.

"There will also be a lot before the next grand prix (the British, when off-throttle blown diffusers are outlawed).

"People expected us to lose more than others, but that's where I disagree.

"Overall it's a very good day for us, very good to have the front row for our team.

"But it's always tough here, a tricky circuit, there are so many corners, and especially in qualifying to get every single corner right is very difficult.

"So to get the perfect lap is quite tough, but I was very happy with my first lap (in Q3)."

Webber hailed his lap as "pretty good", adding: "You've so many corners here and you try to put them all together perfectly, so I knew I had to put it all together on the last lap.

"In the end it's a great day for the team off the back of all the talk, and now we can look forward to tomorrow."

Hamilton was surprised at his third spot on the grid, adding: "This is definitely a good effort. I wasn't expecting to be so high up.

"After final practice we were struggling to switch on the tyres, so this is a great effort from the guys."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sheeran arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards earlier this year
musicYes, that would be Ed Sheeran, according to the BBC
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor