2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying: The Other Red Bull On Pole

It isn’t too often that you see Mark Webber put his RB9 on pole position and that is exactly what he did in Abu Dhabi earlier today. And to think of it, he was also on pole for the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix. And it also isn’t too often in 2013 that we’ve seen Sebastian Vettel make a mistake and that is what he did on his final qualifying attempt. (Read: From Vettel To Lord Vitthal)

Webber was the only driver to enter the 1.39s and he managed to beat Vettel’s lap by a tenth and claim his second pole of the season. Rosberg managed P3, ahead of a spinning Hamilton followed by the Iceman, Kimi Raikkonen.
Mark Webber Beats Sebastian Vettel To Pole Position In Abu Dhabi (Courtesy: Red Bull Racing)
The biggest surprise of the session was Alonso’s elimination in Q2 (and being beaten by Massa for the 5th time in 6 races) and Sutil’s elimination in Q1. And of course, Perez out-qualifying Button too.
The rest of the field maintained status quo and below are the results of the session:
  1. Mark Webber
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Nico Rosberg
  4. Lewis Hamilton
  5. Kimi Raikkonen
  6. Nico Hulkenberg
  7. Romain Grosjean
  8. Felipe Massa
  9. Sergio Perez
  10. Daniel Ricciardo
  11. Fernando Alonso
  12. Paul Di Resta
  13. Jenson Button
  14. Jean Eric Vergne
  15. Pastor Maldonado
  16. Valtteri Bottas
  17. Esteban Gutierrez
  18. Giedo Van Der Garde
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Charles Pic
  21. Max Chilton
And thanks to ESPNStar and their high handedness and lack of planning (yet again), I had to struggle to watch the Formula1 broadcast online! And their official live streaming link just didn’t seem to load itself (and I was willing to pay for it!).
Anyhow, the race will be split up again on strategies between two and three stoppers. I expect the Red Bulls to yet again and don’t think Vettel will be challenged for too long. And I would put my money on Adrian Sutil coming up the field from P17 with some strategic thinking by his engineers and sound driving. Let the race begin!

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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