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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Abu Dhabi: Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel put himself in the best possible position to lay his claim on the driver's championship, taking pole in Abu Dhabi Saturday.

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (R) of Spain after qualifying for the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at Yas Marina circuit November 13 , 2010. REUTERS/Steve Crisp (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)

The same certainly cannot be said for Mark Webber, who will start fifth. Not only is the Australian behind third place Fernando Alonso, who he must beat to keep his hopes alive, but also Jenson Button, who will not be an easy target to get around. Add to the mix Ferrari's Felipe Massa in fifth, and Webber will be sure to have his hands full.

Lewis Hamilton starts second. The odds are long, but it is an ideal place to be if you are hoping all the other contenders drop out.

For either Red Bull driver to overtake Alonso, they will need the help of their teammate. At the moment that looks difficult, and Webber will need a blistering start to make his title dreams come true, an error by Alonso or a Ferrari mechanical failure. As the circus races off into the Abu Dhabi sunset Sunday, the Ferrari driver may have all but sealed the title.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 13: Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing drives during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 13, 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Provisional grid

  1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren
  3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari
  4. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren
  5. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault
  6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari
  7. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth
  8. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes
  9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
  10. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault
  11. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault
  12. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari
  13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes
  14. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber - Ferrari
  15. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth
  16. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India - Mercedes
  17. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari
  18. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari
  19. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth
  20. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth
  21. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth
  22. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth
  23. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth
  24. Christian Klien (Austria) HRT - Cosworth

FIA post-qualifying press conference - Abu Dhabi

Qualifying - selected team and driver quotes

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