Webber keeps Vettel off Abu Dhabi pole

Sat Nov 2, 2013 10:45am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Mark Webber seized pole position for the floodlit Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday with Red Bull team mate and quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel making a rare error and having to settle for second best.

The pole, with Webber approaching the end of his Formula One career this month, was the Australian's 13th in 12 years and second in three races.

"Mark did a very good lap so congratulations to him," said Vettel, who is chasing his seventh win in a row after wrapping up a fourth successive title with victory from pole in India last weekend.

"I should have done a little bit better, but I don't know if it would have been enough. He did a great job, no mistakes," added the German, whose team also secured their fourth constructors' crown in a row in India.

"We lost it in turn one, sorry guys," the 26-year-old had said over the team radio.

Mercedes filled the second row at the Yas Marina circuit, with Germany's Nico Rosberg qualifying third and Britain's 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton fourth despite spinning off on his final lap.

Only Vettel and Hamilton, when he was with McLaren, had previously qualified on pole in the four races to date in the Emirate.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, currently second overall and fighting to lift his team ahead of Mercedes and back to second in the constructors' championship, had a miserable evening and will start 11th.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia takes a corner during the third practice session of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit on Yas Island, November 2, 2013. REUTERS/Caren Firouz