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Qualifying - Vettel eases to €stanbul Park pole 07 May 2011

Qualifying parc ferme top three (L to R): Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP, third; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 7 May 2011

Sebastian Vettel’s best lap of 1m 25.049s on his first run in Q3 was so dominant that he didn’t need to make a second, yet still kept pole position. But if that wasn’t a gamble by Red Bull, keeping second-fastest Mark Webber in the garage was a little bit edgier, as the Mercedes, McLarens, Renaults and a lone Ferrari went out to challenge his 1m 25.454s best.

€n the end, Nico Rosberg’s 1m 25.574s came closest for Mercedes and dislodged Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren from third place, even though the Briton improved from 1m 25.618s to 1m 25.595s. Behind them, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso failed to improve on 1m 25.851s and will line up fifth, with McLaren's Jenson Button alongside him on the strength of his first-run time of 1m 25.982s.

Vitaly Petrov was Renault’s faster runner with 1m 26.296s earning him seventh slot, ahead of Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher (1m 26.646s) and his own team mate, Nick Heidfeld (1m 26.659s). Felipe Massa will be tenth on the grid in the second Ferrari, but mechanical problems prevented him from doing a lap in Q3.

Rubens Barrichello so nearly gave the troubled Williams team something to cheer about in Q2, but Heidfeld bumped him from tenth place and Q3 in the dying moments of the session. Thus, in a session dominated by Vettel from Rosberg, Hamilton and Webber, the Brazilian finished up 11th with 1m 26.764s.

Behind him Adrian Sutil out-qualified Force €ndia team mate Paul di Resta for the first time this year, 1m 27.027s to 1m 27.145s, after the Scot spent most of the 20 minutes in the garage. Pastor Maldonado was 14th in the other Williams with 1m 27.236s, ahead of Sauber’s Sergio Perez on 1m 27.244s and the Toro Rossos of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 27.555s and 1m 27.572s respectively.

Sauber’s hopes had taken an early dive in Q1, as Massa narrowly headed Vettel, Webber and Hamilton, when Kamui Kobayashi’s C30 rolled to a halt before he’d recorded a time. That left him 24th and last, behind the Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli which were late improvers to 1m 28.780s and 1m 29.673s respectively.

Behind them Jerome D’Ambrosio narrowly won Virgin’s fight with HRT, lapping his MVR-02 in 1m 30.445s to pip HRT’s Tonio Liuzzi on 1m 30.692s. Then came Timo Glock in the upgraded Virgin on 1m 30.813s and Narain Karthikeyan in the second HRT on 1m 31.564s.

This order, however, becomes Kovalainen, Trulli, Liuzzi, Glock, Karthikeyan, D'Ambrosio, Kobayashi (granted permission to race without a qualifying time by the stewards) for the grid once D'Ambrosio's five-place penalty for ignoring yellow flags on Friday is taken into account.

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