Red Bull Racing will start the Malaysian Grand Prix from P1 tomorrow after a rain-soaked Qualifying session in Sepang saw Mark Webber take pole.
The only other driver to secure a pole position this season, Sebastian Vettel, will start on the second row after qualifying third.
The final session of the day saw a break of more than 15 minutes when torrential rain brought out the red flags. When Q3 was re-started Mark was the only driver to take the (seemingly brave) decision to run the final seven minutes on intermediate tyres.
But it paid off and finished more than a second faster than his nearest rival Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, himself just one hundredth of a second faster than Sebastian. Rounding off the top ten are Sutil, Hulkenburg, Kubica, Barrichello, Schumacher, Kobayashi and Liuzzi.
Not the grid you could have predicted over lunch.
Afterwards Mark said: “Trying to get everything right and a clear lap was difficult today. But the pole goes to Cairon Pilbeam, my engineer, as he made the call for inters in Q3. It was tricky in places, there was a bit of aquaplaning, but I kept it on the black stuff and got the job done.”
The drama started early in the afternoon with rain coinciding with the start of Qualifying and drivers spinning off left, right and centre… including 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who, although he made the cut had to sit and watch Q2 from the garage after his McLaren was craned off the gravel. He joined an illustrious group of drivers who did not make Q2 including the two Ferrari drivers, Massa and Alonso and Button’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Afterwards Christian Horner paid tribute to the whole team: “There was a lot of opportunity to get it wrong, rather than right, but both drivers kept cool heads, along with their engineers and crews. First and third is a great job from both drivers.”
It means between Mark and Seb we have secured every pole this year. The position of our main rivals also makes for an interesting race tomorrow.