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Rediff.com  » Sports » Vettel takes pole with Webber alongside

Vettel takes pole with Webber alongside

Last updated on: June 26, 2010 20:29 IST

Sebastian VettelGermany's Sebastian Vettel locked down pole position for the European Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday with Red Bull sweeping the front row for the fourth time this season.

Australian Mark Webber qualified second with McLaren's championship leader Lewis Hamilton the best of the rest in third place.

"People were talking at the last race (in Canada) that this would probably be a difficult venue for us. I think we've proved them wrong," said Vettel, who finished fourth in Montreal two weeks ago.

"It will be a tough battle tomorrow but I think we can win the race and score a lot of points for the team," added the 22-year-old, whose team are racing for the first time with a version of the 'F-duct' pioneered by McLaren that offers greater straight-line speed.

Vettel has now secured four poles this season but has failed to convert any of the previous three into wins, his sole victory coming from third place on the grid in Malaysia. Red Bull have had eight poles this year.

"I'm happy to be second to be honest, Seb was quicker," said Webber, who has qualified on the front row in the last eight races.

The two Red Bull drivers line up alongside each other for the first time since they collided in Turkey while heading for a one-two finish but both played down the possibility of locking horns again.

HAMILTON HAPPY

"We've been through this many times but I'm not afraid that something similar will happen," said Vettel, whose last pole was in China in April.

"You can never say never but surely I think we have learned our bit," he added.

Hamilton, who has been runner-up in the previous two races in Valencia, was surprised to be right behind the Red Bulls after locking up his rear wheels on his last flying lap.

"I feel so fortunate," said the Briton, whose car's race pace leaves him well-placed to challenge for a third win in a row.

"We saw from practice that we were quite a long way behind.

"Initially going into qualifying the thought was that we have to get every ounce out of the car, every little bit we possibly can get and a little bit more just to gain that one more spot, if it means being from seventh to sixth," he added.

"I didn't feel that we would be this high up."

The McLaren driver is three points ahead of world champion team mate Jenson Button, with Webber third overall and a further three adrift. Vettel is fifth, 19 points off the lead with 11 races remaining.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will start his second home race of the year in fourth place, with Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa fifth.

Poland's Robert Kubica starts sixth for Renault.

Former champions Williams had both their cars in the top 10 for the first time since the Malaysian race in April. Germany's Nico Hulkenberg was eighth fastest and Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello, winner for Brawn last year, ninth.

Mercedes had an afternoon to forget despite bringing a major aerodynamic update to Valencia, with Germany's Nico Rosberg 12th and seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher struggling to qualify 15th.

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