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Vettel gives Red Bull first F1 pole

Sebastian Vettel gave Red Bull Racing its first pole position in qualifying at Shanghai, ahead of the resurgent Fernando Alonso.

Mark Webber added to Red Bull's delight with third on the grid, while the hitherto dominant Brawns were back in fourth and fifth, Rubens Barrichello ahead of Jenson Button.

Vettel opted to make only one run in Q2 and Q3, yet topped both sessions, taking a dry weather pole to follow his pole in the rain at Monza for Toro Rosso last year.

Red Bull looked set to sweep the front row until Alonso split them, proving that Renault's rapidly-introduced updates were already paying off.

Webber was pushed back from first to third in the closing seconds, with Barrichello dropping to fourth having held provisional pole following the first Q3 runs.

Jarno Trulli completed the top six for Toyota, followed by morning pace-setter Nico Rosberg's Williams.

Kimi Raikkonen took eighth in his Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton producing his best qualifying performance of the season to take ninth for McLaren.

Toro Rosso's rookie Sebastien Buemi also enjoyed a breakthrough session, reaching Q3 for the first time and taking 10th.

Timo Glock's disastrous day continued. A new gearbox had been required after his practice failure, giving the Toyota a five-place penalty. Given that he only managed 14th in qualifying, that will translate to a back of the field start for the second time this year.

While Hamilton showed better form and Raikkonen at least maintained his Q3 run, their respective team-mates Heikki Kovalainen and Felipe Massa both failed to reach the top ten, taking 12th and 13th, just 0.001s apart.

Also unable to match their team-mates' progress into Q3 were Williams's Kazuki Nakajima, Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais and Renault's Nelson Piquet, who filled positions 15 to 17.

BMW had another poor afternoon. Nick Heidfeld only just squeezed into Q2 and then took 11th, while his team-mate Robert Kubica had the worst qualifying session of his Formula 1 career, managing only 18th and getting knocked out in Q1 for the first time ever.

Force India remained mired at the tail of the field, 0.7s adrift of the pack. Adrian Sutil out-qualified Giancarlo Fisichella for the first time in 2009, beating the Italian by 0.003s.

Pos  Driver       Team                       Q1        Q2        Q3      Laps
 1.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      (B) 1:36.565  1:35.130  1:36.184  11
 2.  Alonso       Renault               (B) 1:36.443  1:35.803  1:36.381  21
 3.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      (B) 1:35.751  1:35.173  1:36.466  19
 4.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        (B) 1:35.701  1:35.503  1:36.493  21
 5.  Button       Brawn-Mercedes        (B) 1:35.533  1:35.556  1:36.532  19
 6.  Trulli       Toyota                (B) 1:36.308  1:35.645  1:36.835  21
 7.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       (B) 1:35.941  1:35.809  1:37.397  23
 8.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               (B) 1:36.137  1:35.856  1:38.089  19
 9.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      (B) 1:35.776  1:35.740  1:38.595  17
10.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B) 1:36.284  1:35.965  1:39.321  21
11.  Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            (B) 1:36.525  1:35.975            14
12.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      (B) 1:36.646  1:36.032            10
13.  Massa        Ferrari               (B) 1:36.178  1:36.033            11
14.  Glock        Toyota                (B) 1:36.364  1:36.066            14
15.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       (B) 1:36.673  1:36.193            13
16.  Bourdais     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B) 1:36.906                      10
17.  Piquet       Renault               (B) 1:36.908                      10
18.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            (B) 1:36.966                      8 
19.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  (B) 1:37.669                      10
20.  Fisichella   Force India-Mercedes  (B) 1:37.672                      10

All Timing Unofficial
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