Sebastian Vettel has secured pole position for the first Indian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver dominated qualifying all the way through, ultimately posting a fastest lap of 1:24.178 minutes. Lewis Hamilton was runner-up, three-tenths of a second behind, after abandoning his final hot lap on the middle sector. Despite being second fastest on the day, the McLaren man will not be starting from the front row, having been given a three-place grid penalty for a yellow flag offence on Friday. This means that Webber starts alongside Vettel as third-quickest qualifier.
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button occupy row two, with Hamilton back in fifth. Next to him on the grid is Felipe Massa who finished Q3 with a crash. On his final run, the Brazilian spun off in spectacular style, wrecking his car in the process. He himself appeared to emerge unscathed. The last four positions in the Top 10 line-up were claimed by Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari. Sutil, Buemi and Alguersuari declined to set a time in Q3.
Q2: Schumacher out
In the battle for the constructors' title, Toro Rosso and Force India are running neck and neck while Sauber's lead driver Sergio Perez could manage only P17. Sutil started and finished Q3 in eighth, while Buemi and Alguersuari settled for ninth and tenth. Michael Schumacher went out in the second segment of qualifying behind eleventh-placed Vitaly Petrov.
Q1: Tense times for Schumacher
Schumacher had a worrying Q1, only making it through to the Top 17 on his final lap on a set of soft tyres. Button too played safe by fitting the options. Schumacher's relief was Kamui Kobayashi's despair, as he took the ignominious 18th spot. Behind him, Lotus were once again at the forefront of the new teams. Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli prevailed ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Narain Karthikeyan and Jerome D'Ambrosio. Poor Timo Glock's transmission packed in.