Photo: Omer Bin Ishaq

Sebastian Vettel does it! With pole in Abu Dhabi.

Mark Webber could not do it and only managed fifth place.

Lewis Hamilton puts his McLaren on the front row.

Fernando Alonso in perfect position with third on the grid.

“I think we are more or less in the same situation as we were two days ago before first practice,” he said. “We know the situation, we know the four contenders.

everything is on tomorrow’s race, anything can happen and we saw in last few events things changed – in Korea the Red Bulls were very strong and lost the race with mechanical issues, in Brazil we saw some problems with pitstops.

In the race anything can happen, we need to complete 55 laps without any problems. It will be a tough race, a long race, but we are in a position where we are very strong.

Obviously it was a tough qualifying for everyone, changing positions in Q2 and Q3, you never know how competitive you are until Q3 finishes.

The first attempt was not great, traffic in the first sector so I knew with the second tyres there was some potential to come so I pushed to the limit and third place is great.”

Pos  Driver       Car                  Q1         Q2         Q3
 1.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault     1m40.318s  1m39.874s  1m39.394s
 2.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes     1m40.335s  1m40.119s  1m39.425s
 3.  Alonso       Ferrari              1m40.170s  1m40.311s  1m39.792s
 4.  Button       McLaren-Mercedes     1m40.877s  1m40.014s  1m39.823s
 5.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault     1m40.690s  1m40.074s  1m39.925s
 6.  Massa        Ferrari              1m40.942s  1m40.323s  1m40.202s
 7.  Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth    1m40.904s  1m40.476s  1m40.203s
 8.  Schumacher   Mercedes             1m41.222s  1m40.452s  1m40.516s
 9.  Rosberg      Mercedes             1m40.231s  1m40.060s  1m40.589s
10.  Petrov       Renault              1m41.018s  1m40.658s  1m40.901s
11.  Kubica       Renault              1m41.336s  1m40.780s
12.  Kobayashi    Sauber-Ferrari       1m41.045s  1m40.783s
13.  Sutil        Force India-Ferrari  1m41.473s  1m40.914s
14.  Heidfeld     Sauber-Ferrari       1m41.409s  1m41.113s
15.  Hulkenberg   Williams-Cosworth    1m41.015s  1m41.418s
16.  Liuzzi       Force India-Ferrari  1m41.681s  1m41.642s
17.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m41.707s  1m41.738s
18.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m41.824s
19.  Trulli       Lotus-Cosworth       1m43.516s
20.  Kovalainen   Lotus-Cosworth       1m43.712s
21.  Glock        Virgin-Cosworth      1m44.095s
22.  di Grassi    Virgin-Cosworth      1m44.510s
23.  Senna        Hispania-Cosworth    1m45.085s
24.  Klien        Hispania-Cosworth    1m45.296s

Perez dominates Abu Dhabi feature race Mexican secures second in championship Sergio Perez crushed his rivals with an unmatched display of speed on his way to a dominant win in today’s feature race in Abu Dhabi, securing second place in the championship as he easily led the way home, greeting the chequered flag over twenty seconds ahead of Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird. The Mexican’s victory was set up when the lights went out: polesitter Turvey bogged down slightly as he got away, allowing Perez an easily line into the lead at turn one.

Teammate Davide Valsecchi was also slow to get away, handing Romain Grosjean a simple line inside and through for P4, which improved by one when Fabio Leimer and Turvey touched wheels at the first corner, with the Swiss driver coming off worse. Further back Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi came together too: the Dutchman was left stranded on the outside of turn one, and when Adrian Zaugg also tipped into a spin a few corners later there was no choice but to bring out the safety car. Further back Bird was lying in tenth after an incredible start from P18 on the grid, and when teammate Bianchi and Max Chilton came together one lap after the restart the Briton was up to an amazing P6: the team made a sharp call into the pits on lap 6 to see what they could do to help. Back on track Luiz Razia was pushing Grosjean hard for third, while Dani Clos and Valsecchi were squabbling over the positions behind: the pit call for Bird was the right one, with his rivals losing time fighting as Bird flew in clear air after his stop. Razia, Valsecchi and Clos stopped together on lap nine, with Bird slotting in ahead of the Spaniard, and a left rear tyre problem for Grosjean at his stop a lap later gave him another free position.

At the front of the field Perez sailed serenely on, with Turvey unable to challenge and stopping for fresh rubber, with the Mexican finally coming in on lap 12. Champion elect Pastor Maldonado was the only man left to stop, but a message from the stewards stated that he was going to have to make a drive through too, ruining any chance of a fight for points.

A clearly annoyed Maldonado left his stops until the last few laps, but Perez wasn’t waiting around: he reclaimed the lead on track on lap 18 and was gone, while behind him Turvey drove a strong race for second. Razia and Valsecchi’s races started to unravel under the harsh sun as they were unable to contain the pace of Bird and Clos: the pair had a fierce battle for the final podium position, with the Briton holding on by less than a second. Valsecchi managed to hold on for fifth place ahead of a fast charging Grosjean, with Razia just hanging on in front of tomorrow’s poleman Josef Kral, who secured a splendid P8 on his return to the series.

Abu Dhabi. Defending champion Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal started the new season in style today, grabbing pole position for the opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.

The Saudi driver, who won nine out of 12 rounds last season, was fastest in qualifying with a time of 2:15.447, edging out Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, 2:15.620, the 2009-10 championship runner-up.

Teenager Fahad Algosaibi was third fastest in 2:16.320, with fellow Saudi Bandar Alesayi, 2:16.643, Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi, 2:17.074, and Faisal Binladen, 2:17:871, completing the top six.

Dutch newcomer to the series, Oscar Slingerland, secured a top ten finish with the name of his team owner’s four-day old grand daughter, Karlijn, proudly displayed on the bonnet of his new Porsche GT3 Cup car inside a pink heart.

Qualifying results

1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team             2:15.447

2. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH)                                  2:15.620

3. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                    2:16.320

4. Bandar Alesayi (KSA)                                                         2:16.643

5. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia                               2:17.074

6. Faisal Binladen (KSA) Saudi Falcon Racing                      2:17:871

7. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia                                 2:18.887

8. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing 2:18.979

9. Oscar Slingerland (NL) Speedlover NL                              2:23.223

10. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing                 2:23.577