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Vettel on Pole Again in 2010, in China

April 17, 2010

Sebastian Vettel took yet another pole today in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, when it had been looking like McLaren were going to be hard to beat.

Lewis Hamilton had been fastest in Q1 and Q2, but it was the Red Bulls who stole the front row yet again in Q3, with Vettel and teammate Mark Webber showing the Red Bull’s pure qualifying pace.

The usual suspects were eliminated in Q1, with Vitantonio Liuzzi the first out of the old teams in the Force India in 18th, joining Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Lucas di Grassi, Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna down in 19th down to 24th respectively.

Pedro de la Rosa, Kamui Kobayashi and Liuzzi were trading the last of Q1’s dropout places, but it was Liuzzi who was left unable to improve. De la Rosa will start just ahead of the Force India after finishing Q2 the slowest. Nico Hulkenberg splits the Saubers of De la Rosa and Kobayashi, dropping out in 16th. Rubens Barrichello was the fastest of the Q2 dropouts in 11th, ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov and Kobayashi in 12th to 15th respectively.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in Q1 and Q2, but by Q3, Vettel looked like he had found that something special. His time of 1:34.558, was two tenths faster than teammate Webber. Fernando Alonso will start third, with Nico Rosberg in fourth, once again out-qualifing teammate Michael Schumacher. Jenson Button will start ahead of Hamilton, the two McLarens fifth and sixth. Championship leader, Felipe Massa, will start down in seventh, ahead of Robert Kubica in eighth. Michael Schumacher starts down in ninth, having narrowly made Q3, with Adrian Sutil in tenth.

Tomorrow’s race promises to be exciting, with Hamilton once again looking likely to be on a charge. With a 50% chance of rain, we may end up with another Chinese Grand Prix like last year, and Vettel may become the first double winner at the circuit.

But as ever, anything can happen, and Vettel will be heading into the long corner of turn one hoping to retain his lead when the lights go out.

The race begins tomorrow morning at 8am on BBC1.

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