Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel achieved a sensational tenth pole position of the season by using Bridgestone's super soft compound Potenza tyres to set a lap time of 1min 39.394secs around the spectacular Yas Marina circuit for tomorrow's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
McLaren Mercedes' championship contender Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's race from second, alongside Vettel. Championship leader Fernando Alonso
(Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro) qualified third whilst Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber was the lowest qualifying of the championship contenders with the fifth fastest time. All top ten drivers used the super soft for their fastest time.
Vettel was also fastest in the earlier practice session using the super soft and becomes the final Formula 1 driver to achieve pole position with Bridgestone Potenza tyres.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today's running?
"Today we saw the last qualifying session with Bridgestone Potenza Formula 1 tyres and we witnessed an exciting battle demonstrating both passion and excellence. Today's session was the most crucial of the year and any problems with the tyres would have affected this fantastic battle. I am happy to say that our tyres were up to the task as illustrated by all four championship contenders qualifying in the top five. With the reigning champion in the top five too I think we will have an historic race in prospect tomorrow. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for his great work to get his tenth pole position with Red Bull this season, and the final achieved with Bridgestone Potenza tyres."
What are the tyre strategy considerations for the race?
"The track surface continued to improve and the evidence suggests that this process will continue tomorrow. Although we didn't see much degradation on the super soft today, it could return tomorrow with the heavy fuel conditions at the start of the race. This means the super soft compound is unlikely to be as durable as the medium, so we could see quite early pit stops from the front runners. Understanding the track surface evolution will be the key tomorrow."