Abu Dhabi - Australian Mark Webber has grabbed the 13th pole position of his career on
Saturday when he clocked the fastest lap in a tense qualifying session
as Red Bull swept the front row of the grid for Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand
The 37-year-old, who retires from Formula One at the end of
the season, recorded 1min 39.957 sec to edge out newly-crowned
quadruple world champion team-mate German Sebastian Vettel.
who will start from the front of the grid for only the second time this
season, equalled the Australian record of 13 poles set by Alan Jones,
who was celebrating his 67th birthday on Saturday.
In a thrilling
finale to an intriguing day, the two Red Bull men crossed the line after
the chequered flag to clock their best laps, but battling Briton Lewis
Hamilton failed to do the same as he spun his Mercedes in the final part
of his lap.
"Fantastic guys, thank you for a fantastic job," said Webber on the Red Bull team radio.
"This weekend has gone pretty smoothly," he added later.
the smoothest path to the start of Q2 or Q1, we were not electric, but
we changed the car quite a bit and I got more and more comfortable as
the session went on.
"It made me more comfortable in the final
sector, where Seb has been quick, so I was able to match him there and
stay where I had been quick already."
Vettel said it was terrific to have seen off what he considered was a dangerous looking Mercedes team.
think it's a great result for the team. At the start of qualifying,
Mercedes looked very strong, especially in Q2. We seem to be able to
find a bit of extra time in Q3.
"Mark did a very good lap so
congratulations to him. I should have done a bit better, but I don't
know if it would have been enough. He did a great job, no mistakes. It's
a great result for the team and we should have a strong race tomorrow."
Hamilton ended up fourth and will start alongside his Mercedes team-mate German Nico Rosberg, who was third fastest.
broke at the rear of the car," said a disappointed Hamilton, who has
twice previously taken pole at the spectacular Yas Marina circuit.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus was fifth ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg
of Sauber with Frenchman Romain Grosjean seventh in the second Lotus.
Raikkonen it was a satisfying riposte that demonstrated he retains the
upper hand in a team riven by controversy following his threat to
boycott the last two races this year because he has not been paid.
Felipe Massa, who is leaving Ferrari to make room for the Finn, was
eighth fastest - and outpaced his team-mate Spaniard Fernando Alonso for
the eighth time this year - ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez of McLaren
and 10th placed Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, who will
drive for Red Bull next year.
Starting grid for Sunday's Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix following the final qualifying session on Saturday:
Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull)
Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull)
Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus)
Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Sauber)
Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus)
Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari)
Sergio Perez (MEX/McLaren)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari)
Paul di Resta (GBR/Force India)
Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren)
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso)
Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams)
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Sauber)
Adrian Sutil (GER/Force India)
Giedo van der Garde (NED/Caterham)
Charles Pic (FRA/Caterham)
Max Chilton (GBR/Marussia)
Jules Bianchi (FRA/Marussia)
Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix qualifying times on Saturday:
Qualifying No 1:
1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1min 40.693sec (Q), 2. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1:41.254 (Q), 3. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus 1:41.276 (Q), 4. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams 1:41.365 (Q), 5. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1:41.397 (Q), 6. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1:41.420 (Q), 7. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1:41.447 (Q), 8. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:41.568 (Q), 9. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber 1:41.631 (Q), 10. Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India 1:41.676 (Q)
11. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1:41.683 (Q), 12. Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren 1:41.687 (Q), 13. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1:41.692 (Q), 14. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 1:41.817 (Q), 15. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams 1:41.862 (Q), 16. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1:41.884 (Q)
Did not qualify for second session:
17. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber 1:41.999, 18. Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India 1:42.051, 19. Giedo van der Garde (NED) Caterham 1:43.252, 20. Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia 1:43.398, 21. Charles Pic (FRA) Caterham 1:43.528, 22. Max Chilton (GBR) Marussia 1:44.198
1. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1:40.473 (Q), 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1:40.477 (Q), 3. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:40.575 (Q), 4. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1:40.781 (Q), 5. Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren 1:40.812 (Q), 6. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1:40.852 (Q), 7. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber 1:40.931 (Q), 8. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1:40.948 (Q), 9. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus 1:40.971 (Q), 10. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1:40.989 (Q)
Did not qualify for third session:
11. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1:41.093, 12. Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India 1:41.133, 13. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 1:41.200, 14. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1:41.279, 15. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams 1:41.395, 16. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams 1:41.447
1. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:39.957, 2. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1:40.075, 3. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1:40.419, 4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1:40.501, 5. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus 1:40.542, 6. Nico Hlkenberg (GER) Sauber 1:40.576, 7. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1:40.997, 8. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1:41.015, 9. Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren 1:41.068, 10. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1:41.111