F1 2011 Korean Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton grabs pole position

PUBLISHED: 07:07 15 October 2011 | UPDATED: 17:59 15 October 2011

Lewis Hamilton sitting in his McLaren car in Korea [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]

Lewis Hamilton sitting in his McLaren car in Korea [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes / www.mclaren.com]


FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will start the 2011 Korean Grand Prix from pole position after today’s (Saturday’s) qualifying session.

2011 Korean Grand Prix

Korea International Circuit Specifications

Top speed: 320km/h

Average speed: 205km/h

Pit straight length: 420m

Circuit length: 5.615km

Race length: 55 laps/309km

Number of corners: 18

Longest section at full throttle: 14.4sec/1,200m

The 26-year-old from Hertfordshire will line up on the front row for Sunday’s race around the Korea International Circuit at Yeongam.

Hamilton took his first pole of the season with a blistering lap of 1m 35.820s.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ace will start alongside Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who clocked a time of 1m 36.042s – 0.222s slower.

Jenson Button will go from the second row in third place, with Mark Webber fourth on the grid for Red Bull.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are on the third row.

Nico Rosberg is seventh on the grid for Mercedes GP and Vitaly Petrov eighth.

After by his own admission a “shocking” Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka last week, a flying Hamilton dominated qualifying in his McLaren.

He fired down a 1m 36.130s with his opening flying lap of Q3, with F1 world champion Vettel 0.030s slower for Red Bull in second spot.

The McLaren pitwall told Hamilton: “You are on provisional pole position. You have about 0.1s to gain in sector 2. In sectors 1 & 3 you are the fastest car.

“It’s very tight between you and Vettel at the top. You’re 0.03s faster at the moment.”

Mark Webber was third after the first runs in Q3 and Jenson Button fourth.

Hamilton went even quicker with his second run to bag his 19th pole position.

Hamilton safely got through to the top 10 shootout in first place.

Before the second phase of qualifying started, the McLaren pitwall told Hamilton: “Lewis, we believe the cut-off time at the end of Q2 will be a 1:38.1s.”

The Tewin F1 hero responded with an opening Q2 hot lap of 1m 36.526s with Vettel second after the first runs with a 1m 37.285s.

With his place in Q3 assured, Hamilton remained in the garage after that to protect his tyres and prepare for the deciding top 10 shootout.

After Friday’s wet practice sessions, the weather was fine for qualifying around the track in South Korea and Hamilton was also fastest in Q1 ahead of McLaren colleague Button.

Stevenage-born Hamilton’s fastest lap was a 1m 37.53s, with Jenson’s best a 1m 37.9s.

Over the radio, the McLaren team told Hamilton: “Interesting scenario is that Red Bull have gone out on the option tyre in Q1.

“Maybe they believe the prime tyre is quicker than the option.”

McLaren’s two drivers had earlier set the pace in the third practice session, with Button topping the timesheets ahead of Hamilton.

Another one-two on the podium tomorrow (Sunday) would suit McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

The 2011 Korean Grand Prix starts at 7am on Sunday and is being televised live on BBC One.

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