A car defect has prevented Sebastian Vettel from scoring pole position for the Turkish grand prix.
Instead, his on-form Red Bull teammate Mark Webber netted his third consecutive qualifying triumph, and on Sunday could complete a hat-trick of wins from pole.
But Vettel, with his new ‘Randy Mandy’ chassis at Istanbul Park, was actually quicker in Q1 and Q2, and on course for a much faster lap when his front wheel began locking under braking.
“The chassis change has paid off, if only they had changed this braking part too,” Niki Lauda said wryly to Motorsport-Magazin.com after qualifying.
The problem translated to a half-second deficit to Webber for Vettel, allowing McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton to slip between them on the grid.
“It was a tight fight with all of us and I think Seb had a bit of a problem with his car,” admitted Australian afterwards.
The disappointment clearly told on 22-year-old Vettel’s face, having come so close to bouncing back to top form after two races clearly behind his teammate.
“It should easily have been a lot quicker,” said the German. “I’m not the type of guy who says ‘the car is broken, that’s it’.”
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko described Vettel’s problem as a “pity”, but for the energy drinks brand, its run of pole positions in 2010 remains unbroken.
“One and three is not so bad,” said the Austrian Marko.