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Qualifying - Vettel beats Webber to pole in Valencia 26 Jun 2010

Qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1 VJM03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus T127.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010 Karun Chandhok (IND) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 26 June 2010

Red Bull picked up their pole position string again in Valencia on Saturday afternoon, as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber sewed up the front row for the European Grand Prix. Going into the final runs of Q3 it was the Australian who held the advantage, but Vettel put a superb lap together to snatch the premier starting slot away, stopping the clocks in 1m 37.587s. Webber improved, but 1m 37.662s wasn’t quite enough.

Third fastest, and higher than he expected to be, was championship points leader Lewis Hamilton after a brilliant first-run lap of 1m 37.969s for McLaren. A big slide in Turn 12 spoiled his final effort. He’ll have old sparring partner Fernando Alonso for company on row two, the Spaniard taking his Ferrari round in 1m 38.075s.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Renault’s Robert Kubica share row three, with 1m 38.127s and 1m 38.137s, while McLaren’s Jenson Button is on row four with 1m 38.210s with Nico Hulkenberg alongside for Williams on 1m 38.428s. His team mate Rubens Barrichello later equalled that time exactly for ninth, and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov completed the top 10 with 1m 38.523s.

As Vettel set the pace with 1m 38.015s, Q2 accounted for the Toro Rossos, the Mercedes, the Force Indias, and Pedro de la Rosa’s BMW Sauber. Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi was fastest faller in 1m 38.586s, chased by Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg on 1m 38.627s, Force India’s Adrian Sutil on 1m 38.851s, his team mate Tonio Liuzzi on 1m 38.884s, Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher on 1m 39.234s, De la Rosa on 1m 39.264s and Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 39.458s.

The surprises were both Williams making it through, together with Petrov’s Renault.

The big news of Q1, apart from fastest lap in 1m 38.132s from Kubica, was that Schumacher only just escaped exclusion there and then on his final lap, which jumped him up from 18th to 12th.

Kamui Kobayashi was the first to fail to make it, after a lap of 1m 39.343s in his BMW Sauber. Then Jarno Trulli led the Lotus challenge with 1m 40.658s to team mate Heikki Kovalainen’s 1m 40.882s.

Lucas di Grassi also turned the tables on his partner, lapping his Virgin in 1m 42.086s as Timo Glock recorded 1m 42.140s. Karun Chandhok was the faster HRT driver with 1m 42.600s, and Bruno Senna brought up the rear in his F110 with 1m 42.851s.