Vettel takes pole again
Jun 24 2012
Sebastian Vettel produced an astonishing late hot lap to clinch the 33rd pole position of his Formula One career.
Vettel is now third equal on the sport's all-time list, joining two of the greats in Jim Clark and Alain Prost in taking top spot on the grid for Sunday's European Grand Prix.
Vettel said: "I had one shot there in the end, which turned out to be enough."
The 24-year-old German, the winner from pole of this race for the last two years, smashed the field and the Valencia Street Circuit with a lap of one minute 38.086secs.
"A hat-trick of victories would be nice, but it's going to be a difficult race, difficult to predict given the way this season has been going," he said.
"It's easier to predict the results of the football matches tonight and tomorrow (in Euro 2012)."
Joining him on the front row, but 0.324 seconds adrift, is McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, with Pastor Maldonado reviving season by claiming third for Williams.
Lotus' Romain Grosjean, many people's favourite for pole coming into the weekend, could only manage fourth ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg sixth.
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi starts seventh ahead of Force India duo Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta in eighth and 10th, split by Jenson Button in his McLaren - beaten in qualifying by Hamilton for the eighth time this year.
Preceding that was a staggering 15-minute Q2 session - just under three tenths of a second separated the top 13 - with the top seven split by a mere 0.089secs over a lap lasting 100 seconds.
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