Date: 30th October 2011 at 8:42am
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Red Bull Racing set a new all-time record for 16 pole positions in a single season in India yesterday.

Double F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel continued his Saturday domination setting a time of 1 minute 24.178 seconds, edging McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by 0.296 seconds. The 2008 F1 World Champion however will not get to start second following his three-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags during Friday’s first practice session.

That means that Red Bull have locked out the front row with Mark Webber being bumped up to second.

The second row will be made up by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will start alongside Hamilton in sixth after the Brazilian qualified around a second slower than Vettel. Nico Rosberg was the only other driver in the ‘top-10’ shoot-out to set a time so his Mercedes will start seventh. Adrian Sutil’s Force India and both Toro Rosso’s of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari failed to appear for Q3, all opted to preserve tyres.

The second half of the grid was made up of the usual suspects. However it was Virgin Racing who was slowest, with both HRT’s setting quicker times, then Lotus then Sauber.

However their grid positions were then shuffled by a number of penalties from the race stewards.

Renault’s Vitaly Petrov had originally qualified 11th, but following a five-place grid penalty after his crash in Korea, he will start 16th.

Sauber’s Sergio Perez who had qualified in 17th will start 20th after he was handed a similar three-place penalty to Hamilton from an infringement on Friday. But then it all got mightily complicated.

HRT’s Daniel Ricciardo was given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, having qualified 21st, he would have normally have dropped to 24th, but with other penalties being handed out to other drivers, he only dropped one place to 22nd.

Team-mate Narain Karthikeyan was also given a five-place grid penalty for impeding Michael Schumacher, that resulted in the Indian driver moving from 22nd on the grid to 23rd.

Virgin’s Jerome D’Ambrosio gained two places to start 21st, but team-mate Timo Glock was not moved up the grid because he in fact had failed to set a time within 107% of the fastest time in first qualifying, but he will be allowed to start the race, but from his original qualifying position of last.