Vettel takes pole in Shanghai

15:41, April 17, 2011      

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Third placed McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (L), pole position Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (C) and second placed McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain wave after the qualifying session of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at Shanghai International circuit in Shanghai, east China, April 16, 2011. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

Red Bull's German driver Sebastian Vettel grabbed his third straight pole position this season, topping the qualifying session for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel, who also headed the grid in Australia and Malaysia and swept both titles, clocked a fastest time of one minute, 33.706 seconds in the 5.451-km Shanghai International Circuit.

The 23-year-old German are now standing atop of the drivers' standings with 50 full points.

"We have done it again, but every single time is tough. I think today was not as straightforward as we palned," said Vettel, who tops the drivers' standings with 50 points.

"I think we did a good job today. But it is just eight meters on the track tomorrow. It will be a long race, but I think we can be happy with the car. We did some good long runs on Friday and so we have a reason to feel good, but it's also a threat to feel too good. So I pay attention that doesn't happen."

There were not all good news for Red Bull, the leader in the constructors' standings with 72 points, as Mark Webber got eliminated in the first qualifying session (Q1) due to KERS problem and an over-confident strategy. And he will have to start 18th tomorrow.

"I can't remember the last time I was out in Q1; it was a long, long time ago, so it was a bad day for us," said a despondent Webber.

The technical issues-plagued Australian had shown a lackluster performance so for in Shanghai, never managing to make any dent after finishing second in the opening free practice.

"It's a very frustrating day. We didn't have a smooth P3 (third free practice) or Q1 and we paid the ultimate price at end of the day. We thought we had enough to get through on the prime tyres, we have the pace, but I couldn't get the tyre working on my second run. We'll see what we can do tonight, but I can only go forwards. "

Team McLaren, second placer in the team table with 48 points, continued to pose great threat to Red Bull, as Jenson Button joined Vettel in the front row in 1:34.421. The other McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton clocked a time of 1:34.463 for third place.

"After Q2, I thought we'd have a shot at pole today, but, looking at Sebastian's final laptime, second place was realistically all we could do. Still, it's great that we got two cars into the top three - we really extracted the maximum from the package today," said Button, champion of 2009, who reached his best grid position of the season.

"The car felt really consistent all afternoon and I got pretty much everything out of it. For tomorrow, I think our race pace will be a little bit closer to Red Bull than our qualifying pace."

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Source: Xinhua
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