Vettel on pole in Valencia – 2012 European Grand Prix qualifying Sebastian Vettel will start the European Grand Prix from pole, having qualified ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado
Sebastian Vettel will start the European Grand Prix from pole position for the third consecutive year.
The reigning world champion qualified on pole and went on to win at Valencia in 2010 and 2011, which bodes well for a Red Bull win tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton was second fastest for McLaren – just three-tenths of a second behind Vettel – while Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean share the second row of the grid.
Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg will start from fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi. The Sauber driver’s one lap of Q3 was good enough to out qualify Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button and Paul di Resta, but he is currently under investigate for impeding Hulkenberg during Q2.
Force India’s impressive pace means that three big names – Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa – failed to make it into the final qualifying session. But, as only drivers within the top 10 have to use the tyres they set their fastest qualifying time on, Alonso will be able to start his home race on a fresh set of Pirellis.
The biggest casualty of the day was Mark Webber, who was knocked out in the first qualifying session alongside Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne. Webber had struggled in the morning’s final practice session with brake issues, which meant he only managed four laps and no running on the soft tyre.
Both were out qualified by Heikki Kovalainen in the Caterham, as was Daniel Ricciardo in the second Toro Rosso. This means Kovalainen will start from 16th on the grid.
Marussia’s Timo Glock didn’t take part in qualifying, as he has been suffering from a stomach bug throughout the weekend. A decision on whether he will take part in the race has not yet been made.
2012 European Grand Prix grid
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1’38.086|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.752|
|10||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.992|
|19||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1’40.395|
|21||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1’42.171|
107 per cent time: 1’45.742
* Did not take part in qualifying and will race at the stewards’ discretion
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