SEBASTIAN VETTEL of Red Bull took his tenth pole-position of the season in the qualifying session for this year’s Championship deciding race in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. The title challenger’s Q3 time was 1:39.394 (124.993 mph). Fellow title contender Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) will line up second on the grid, with Championship leader Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) third. Second placed man in the title hunt, Mark Webber (Red Bull), could only manage fifth on the grid.
The rest of the top ten from fourth to tenth are: Jenson Button (McLaren), Webber, Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Rubens Barrichello (Williams), Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault).
There was a moment of controversy in Q2 when Massa and Hamilton almost crashed into each other at Turn 5. Neither car was damaged and both drivers escaped punishment, but one bollard was taken clean out of the ground by the McLaren. It would have been a mockery to penalise both drivers and the right decision was made.
For the first time this season Renault’s Robert Kubica failed to make it into Q3, and will start from 11th on the grid. This means the only two drivers who have made it into Q3 at all 19 races in 2010 are Vettel and Webber, surprise surprise.
As for tomorrow’s race I can’t see a clear winner. It looks like Vettel and Hamilton will race off into the distance, but as we have seen over this great season, anything can happen.
May the best man win the title (so long as it is by more than seven points if it is Alonso).