Sebastian Vettel romped to yet another easy pole at the Buddh International Circuit on Saturday morning. The German was completely unopposed by other teams as he took his third consecutive pole at the Indian Grand Prix, while the only man who could potentially put up a fight, Mark Webber, was given the medium compound tyres and took fourth on the grid. The only other man in the top ten that set a fastest lap on the medium tyres was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who is eighth on the grid, meaning Webber and Alonso will be sparring partners once the softer compound qualifiers make their first stop.
The Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were seven tenths slower than Vettel’s time while taking second and third on the grid, while Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari was fifth. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth on the grid while his team-mate gambled on saving a set of soft tyres in Q1 – and failed miserably, becoming the big name to drop out of the first Qualifying session. On the plus side, the Frenchman will have plenty of fresh tyres to aid his attempted charge through the grid. Nico Hulkenberg was an impressive seventh for Sauber as he looks to have yet another strong Sunday to help secure him a seat on the 2014 grid.
The McLaren boys, led by Sergio Perez, filled out the top ten. Daniel Ricciardo narrowly missed the cut in Q2 and lines up eleventh, ahead of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil for Force India. Jean-Eric Vergne was fourteenth in the other Toro Rosso, followed by Valtteri Bottas and then Esteban Gutierrez who briefly led Q1 with a very impressive lap.
Nearer the back, Pastor Maldonado put his Williams behind Grosjean on the grid, while Jules Bianchi was the fastest back-marker ahead of the Caterham two of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic. Max Chilton was the slowest driver in the session and will line up twenty-second tomorrow.