Sport

Vettel gains 10th pole of the season

World champion Sebastian Vettel on Saturday secured his tenth pole of the season when he edged out McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

The German Red Bull driver posted a time of 1 minute 22.275 seconds for the 5.793 kilometre—long Autodromo di Monza track, beating Hamilton by 0.5 seconds.

Vettel, who secured the 25th pole of his career, said that he was surprised that he was so far ahead. “We thought it would be much closer than that.

“I had a bit of an improvement for the second lap and we stayed out and focussed on the final lap. I knew I had a bit more speed in the car and I was able to put it all together on the final run.

“But I did not expect to be on pole on this track, which has not suited us in the past.” Hamilton’s team—mate Jenson Button will start from the second row on the grid alongside Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, while the second Red Bull of Mark Webber and Felipe Massa in a Ferrari are on the third row.

Hamilton admitted that he could not have pushed Vettel from the top. “We did not have a half a second in the bag. Even though we are clearly competitive, today Vettel’s time was untouchable.” Button said he was happy with his third place, even if the course is not ideal for that. “It is very difficult to get past the top two guys at Monza.

“But we are looking forward to a great race. It is not so important to be on pole this year due to DRS system,” he said.

The top ten are completed by Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and Michael Schumacher in a Mercedes, who both start on the fourth row, while Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes and Renault’s Bruno Senna are ninth and tenth.

Rosberg is the only one of the top drivers who will start on the hard tyres. “We have chosen a different strategy and we will only see at the end of the race whether it was the correct strategy or not.” Vettel goes into Sunday’s race, which is the 13th of the season’s 19 races, with a commanding lead in the drivers’ standings. The German has 259 points, while Webber is on 167.

Red Bull have secured all 13 pole positions this season.



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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 4:42:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/vettel-gains-10th-pole-of-the-season/article2442151.ece

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