Vettel seals Australian pole

Sebastian Vettel scorched to pole position at Melbourne (AP)

Sebastian Vettel scorched to pole position at Melbourne (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull blew away the field to grab the first pole position of the new Formula One season at the Australian Grand Prix.

With the second and third sessions at Melbourne's Albert Park held over from Saturday due to adverse weather conditions, it was reigning three-time champion Vettel who comfortably grabbed the 37th pole of his career.

The 25-year-old German finished four tenths of a second clear of team-mate Mark Webber, who has yet to stand on the podium in his home race, whilst Mercedes new-boy Lewis Hamilton was a superb third.

Despite early morning rain, it relented in time for the start of the 15-minute Q2 and the 10-minute blast for Q3, ensuring there were no further delays.

Instead, the calls from the pitwall were all about tyre choice, with McLaren - on behalf of Sergio Perez - getting it spectacularly wrong.

With the track still damp at the start, the obvious call was for the intermediate wet tyre, but as a faint dry line began to develop over the 15-minute session, McLaren gambled on switching to dry supersofts.

Whilst Button realised it was the wrong choice and switched back to intermediates for a final run that got him into the top-10 shoot-out, Perez was left high and dry, resulting in an apology by his team as he starts 15th.

Button, in a car which McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has revealed they are struggling to understand, will start 10th, a place behind fellow Briton Paul Di Resta in his Force India.

Hamilton finished 0.6secs adrift of Vettel to be the best of the rest, followed by the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes starts sixth, 0.2s down on Hamilton, with the Lotus pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean seventh and eighth.

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