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Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 13:10 UK

Vettel beats Button to grab pole

Venue: Istanbul Park Dates: 5-7 June 2009 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage of Friday's practice sessions, Saturday qualifying and the race on Sunday across BBC TV, radio and online platforms. Find complete listings here

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - Vettel storms to pole in Turkey (UKonly)

By Sean Chaney

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel snatched pole position in a thrilling finale to qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix.

The 21-year-old German pulled out a scorching lap of one minute 28.316 seconds to seize top spot with seconds remaining at the Istanbul Park circuit.

Championship leader Jenson Button was second fastest ahead of his Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello in third.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton failed to make it through the first qualifying session for only the second time in his career.

Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was fourth fastest while Toyota's Jarno Trulli will start Sunday's race from fifth on the grid.

BBC SPORT'S FUEL-ADJUSTED GRID (with projected race first pit stops*)
1 Button (lap 17)
2 Vettel (lap 15)
3 Webber (lap 17)
4 Barrichello (lap 16)
5 Raikkonen (lap 17)
6 Trulli (lap 16)
7 Massa (lap 16)
8 Rosberg (lap 18)
9 Kubica (lap 20)
10 Alonso (lap 14)
* Calculated on the weight of fuel left in cars after qualifying had finished

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen set the sixth and seventh fastest laps.

Renault's Fernando Alonso starts eighth while Nico Rosberg's Williams lines up alongside the BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica on the fifth row of the grid.

When the weights of the cars in qualifying were published it emerged that Button was carrying more fuel than Vettel, with this additional weight taken into account Button was effectively the quickest driver in the final qualifying session.

In a breathless conclusion to the session the coveted pole position changed hands three times as Webber, then Button and then finally Vettel posted the quickest laps time.

Sunday's race will be the fifth Turkish Grand Prix and the man on pole has won each of the four previous meetings.

It is Vettel's second pole position of the season, the Red Bull man started from the front in China and became the only man to beat Button to the chequered flag this season.

We are fuelled for lap 17 - if Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are longer than that they have a strategic advantage, if not we do

Brawn boss Ross Brawn

"I'm very pleased, we've been pushing hard for the last few qualifying sessions, and finally we made it and we are ahead of the white cars," said Vettel, who was forced out of Friday's second practice session after just four laps.

"We had an engine failure yesterday, so we were not able to do a lot of laps, but I still had a good feeling about today.


"It's been a great job in the factory - some of the parts arrived at the last minute so it was quite an effort to fix them to the car, but they worked." he added.

Button had complained about the balance of his Brawn after Friday's practice sessions but the championship leader seemed far happier with it after qualifying.

Jenson Button

'Not the tidiest of laps' - Button

"With some changes to the set-up and with the wind calmed down, the car seemed to respond better today," said the 29-year-old Englishman.

"It's nice to be on the front row and it's a great place to start from tomorrow."

Team-mate Barrichello added: "Everything is so close. But I have a good car and am feeling happy."

Team boss Ross Brawn suggested the Red Bull's might have been carrying less fuel than his Brawn cars in the third qualifying session, which could give them a pace advantage.

"Obviously we would've liked pole position, but it will be interesting to see what the fuel loads are. If early season form is anything to go by, the Red Bulls are lighter than we are but we will have to see.

"We're on lap 17 - if Vettel and Webber are longer than that they have a strategic advantage, if not we do." said Brawn.

Vettel is the first driver to finish top in all three qualifying sessions this season as Red Bull's recently launched new aerodynamic package and double-decker diffuser seemed to pay dividends around the fast corners and long straights in Istanbul.

Lewis Hamilton

Rivals got faster, we got slower - Hamilton

Vettel was also quickest in second practice, ahead of Trulli and then Button, which is sometimes seen as the most reliable indicator of real race pace as the cars do not have to run with race fuel.

Defending world champion Hamilton failed to make it into second qualifying for the second straight race and will start Sunday's race from 16th on the grid.

He crashed out in Monaco but in Turkey he just could not find the grip to remain in contention when the other cars picked up the pace.

"Welcome to my world. It's the car, it's just got slower and slower as the track has got hotter. There is more and more grip that's gone down and as others have got quicker, we've got slower," said Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel

Replay - Vettel's flying lap

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see also
David Coulthard column
07 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Lotus name ready for return to F1
07 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton already looking to 2010
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkish Grand Prix qualifying results
03 Jun 09 |  Results
Replay - Vettel's Turkish pole lap
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Replay - Hamilton fails in qualifying
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkish GP qualifying photos
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkish GP qualifying as it happened
06 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Kovalainen tops Turkey practice
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Turkey GP practice as it happened
05 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Championship already over - Massa
04 Jun 09 |  Formula 1
Zoom into the Turkey Grand Prix track
04 Jun 09 |  Formula 1

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