June 19, 2013
Vettel storms to pole position in Malaysia
World champion Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the German pipping McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on his final flying lap around the Sepang circuit.
Hamilton had just set the quickest time before Vettel clocked one minute, 34.870 seconds in his Red Bull, just over a 10th of a second quicker than the McLaren.
Vettel's team mate Mark Webber claimed third spot on the grid, a further 0.205 behind Hamilton.
Vettel won at Sepang last season and is aiming for a fourth consecutive race victory on Sunday after claiming the season opener in Melbourne two weeks ago and ending last season with back-to-back triumphs.
The 23-year-old was clearly delighted with his qualifying effort.
"Yes boys, that's what I am talking about. Great job," he told his team over the radio as he slowed down after picking up a 17th pole position of his career.
Red Bull had opted against using the KERS power boost system because of reliability issues in Australia, but the extra speed it provides on the long straights in Sepang was enough to convince the team to employ it in Malaysia.
"We had a challenging weekend right up through qualifying," Vettel told reporters. "I was happy with the car but we never really got into a sort of rhythm so yesterday wasn't as smooth as we had hoped for.
"We knew we had it in the car and the main thing was to keep believing in it. The first and second qualifying were very good and it was very close in the end with the McLaren guys, but I am very happy and it's a big compliment to the guys in the team."
Vettel said KERS had made the difference.
"We were not proud of having not run it last time but we solved most of the problems and if we didn't have it today, we would not be here -- both of us."