Webber on top as Red Bull lock out grid

Mercedes follow Red Bull as Mark Webber has a great opportunity to seal first victory of last season in Abu Dhabi.

Red Bull driver Mark Webber (C) celebrates on the podium with Sebastian Vettel (L) and Nico Rosberg (R) [AP]
Red Bull driver Mark Webber (C) celebrates on the podium with Sebastian Vettel (L) and Nico Rosberg (R) [AP]

Australia Mark Webber grabbed the 13th pole position of his career on Saturday when he clocked the fastest lap in a tense qualifying session as Red Bull swept the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 37-year-old, who retires from Formula One at the end of the season, recorded 1min 39.957 sec to edge out newly-crowned quadruple world champion team-mate German Sebastian Vettel.

Webber, who will start from the front of the grid for only the second time this season, equalled the Australian record of 13 poles set by Alan Jones, who was celebrating his 67th birthday on Saturday.

In a thrilling finale to an intriguing day, the two Red Bull men crossed the line after the chequered flag to clock their best laps, but battling Briton Lewis Hamilton failed to do the same as he spun his Mercedes in the final part of his lap.

“Fantastic guys, thank you for a fantastic job,” said Webber on the Red Bull team radio.

Hamilton ended up fourth and will start alongside his Mercedes team-mate German Nico Rosberg, who was third fastest.

“Something broke at the rear of the car,” said a disappointed Hamilton, who has twice previously taken pole at the spectacular Yas Marina circuit.

Ferrari-bound Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus was fifth ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg of Sauber with Frenchman Romain Grosjean seventh in the second Lotus.

For Raikkonen it was a satisfying riposte that demonstrated he retains the upper hand in a team riven by controversy following his threat to boycott the last two races this year because he has not been paid.

Brazilian Felipe Massa, who is leaving Ferrari to make room for the Finn, was eighth fastest – and outpaced his team-mate Spaniard Fernando Alonso for the eighth time this year – ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez of McLaren and 10th placed Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, who will drive for Red Bull next year.

Source : AFP

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