Qualifying - Hamilton halts Red Bull's pole run 15 Oct 2011
Though Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel got within 0.030s of him after their first runs in the final qualifying session in Korea on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton fought back to open the gap to two-tenths of a second on their second runs to secure the first pole position for McLaren since Montreal in 2010. He lapped in 1m 35.820s, to Vettels 1m 36.042s.
Vettels time pushed Jenson Button to third, after he had taken his McLaren round in 1m 36.126s, while Mark Webbers 1m 36.468s from his first run held up for fourth. Vettel was investigated afterwards for cutting a corner during a Q3 in-lap, but was deemed to have gained no advantage and hence not penalised.
Behind McLaren and Red Bull, Felipe Massa out-qualified Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso again, 1m 36.831s to 1m 36.980s, while a single run before problems intervened left Nico Rosberg seventh for Mercedes on 1m 37.754s.
Vitaly Petrov did 1m 38.124s to place his Renault eighth, while Paul di Restas single untimed lap for Force ndia moved him to ninth ahead of Force ndia team mate Adrian Sutil, who did not venture out.
A strong lap from Di Resta bumped Jaime Alguersuari and Michael Schumacher in Q2, the Spaniard pushing his Toro Rosso round in 1m 38.315s for 11th, the German his Mercedes to 1m 38.354s for 12th. Sebastien Buemis 1m 38.508s left him 13th for Toro Rosso ahead of the lead Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 38.775s, Bruno Sennas Renault on 1m 38.791s, Pastor Maldonados Williams on 1m 39.189s and Sergio Perez in the other Sauber on 1m 39.443s.
As Hamilton and Button set the pace in Q1, Pastor Maldonados late improvement bumped Williams team mate Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian was thus the first faller with 1m 39.538s, ahead of the Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli on 1m 40.522s and 1m 41.101s, the Virgins of Timo Glock and Jerome DAmbrosio on 1m 42.091s and 1m 43.483s, and Tonio Liuzzis 1m 43.758s. Daniel Ricciardo in the other HRT did not set a time as his car was still suffering from the water leak that afflicted it this morning.
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