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Seb's Super-Quick, Mark's Mystified

by Stuart Sykes

World champion Sebastian Vettel said recently he intended to eliminate mistakes from his driving now that he is World Champion.

At Albert Park on Saturday the 23-year-old German gave stunning proof of his success with a flawless lap that carried him to the first pole position of 2011 and the 16th of his stellar career, with the rest of the field nearly eight-tenths of a second in his wake.

Vettel’s Red Bull-Renault was on pole here last year too – but that was despite a last-sector scrabble where he hung on by the seat of his pants.

Who said that?

World champion Sebastian Vettel took pole position for Sunday's season-opening Qantas Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park – then revealed that neither he nor team-mate Mark Webber had made any use of the power and speed-boost available with their Kinetic Energy Regeneration System (KERS). 

"Not fully charged," he said, with a grin. “We'll keep that in the team... But this was a very good first step for us, to start the season this way is a good base.

VETTEL

World Champion Sebastian Vettel has kick-started his title defence with the fastest lap ever seen at Albert Park to take pole position for tomorrow’s 2011 Formula One Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

Vettel’s Red Bull went round the 5.3-km circuit in a time of 1:23.529 – four-tenths faster than his pole time last year – and will be joined on the front row by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Mark Webber will star from third on the grid as he chases his first win on home soil.

Full report follows soon…

Sunday - Form Guide

Red Bull Racing

Qualifying: Sebastian Vettel pole position (1:23.529), Mark Webber 3rd (1:24.395)

The form: Vettel’s 16th pole and second in a row at Albert Park may have been the most impressive of his career, but it’s on Sundays where the 23-year-old world champion has struggled in Australia. Webber was downcast after being thrashed to the tune of 0.866secs by his teammate on Saturday, but is still in a strong position for a maiden top-three finish at home.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS

Sauber drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi, who finished seventh and eighth at Albert Park on Sunday, have been disqualified because of a ‘technical infringement’.

The stewards’ decision promotes Ferrari’s Felipe Massa to seventh and Toro Rosso’s Sébastien Buemi to seventh and eighth respectively, with Force India’s two drivers Adrian Sutil and rookie Paul di Resta now ninth and tenth.

Webber: “I wish it was already tomorrow”

Australian confused after lacklustre fifth-place finish in home race

Local hope Mark Webber can’t wait to go racing again – and forget a frustrating fifth-place finish after starting from third place on the grid.

The 34-year-old equalled his best finish at Albert Park but was left disappointed after teammate Sebastian Vettel dominated the race from pole. Webber trailed the reigning World Champion by an enormous 38.171secs at the end of the race, and was at a loss to explain his lack of pace.

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