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Vettel storms to second straight pole at Indian GP

Uttar Pradesh,Sports, Sat, 27 Oct 2012 IANS

Greater Noida, Oct 27 (IANS) Very few would bet against Sebastian Vettel winning the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix again. The defending champion was the fastest in qualifying here Saturday to go with his dominance in free practice.

Vettel's best lap of 1:25.283 was enough for the 35th pole position of his career. Mark Webber secured a Red Bull front row with 1:25.435.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will start the race from the second row while Vettel's championship rival Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and teammate Felipe Massa will line-up fifth and sixth.

Vettel's flying lap towards the end of Q3 was 0.6 of a second faster than his morning effort. He had topped both practice sessions Friday.

Despite his sheer dominance, Vettel was modest about his chances in the race.

"You know the races these days. Anything can happen despite the pole. But still very happy with the result. I have liked the circuit from day one. The conditions were much better than last year's qualifying," said Vettel, who won the inaugural Indian Grand Prix from pole.

Significantly, Vettel's timing in Q3 is more than a second slower than last year, when he clocked 1:24.178.

Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Sergio Perez (Sauber), Pastor Maldonado (Williams) and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) completed the top 10.

It was a disappointing outing for Sahara Force India with Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta setting the 12th and 16th fastest time at their home race.

Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes also missed the cut.

Narain Karthikeyan, the lone Indian on the grid, finished 0.001 seconds behind teammate Pedro de la Rosa.

The other drivers relegated in Q1 were Jean Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Vitaly Petrov (Caterham), Heiki Kovalainen (Caterham), Timo Glock and Charles Pic (Marussia).

Interestingly, Maldonado pipped Vettel to be fastest in Q1.

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