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Vettel puts Red Bull on pole

GERMANY'S Sebastian Vettel put Red Bull on pole position yesterday for the Turkish Grand Prix today after pushing Formula One championship leader Jenson Button off his pedestal.

Button's Brawn GP teammate Rubens Barrichello qualified third for today's race with Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber completing the second row.

The pole was Vettel's career third and established the 21-year-old as race favorite at a circuit where the winner has always started from the top slot on the grid since Turkey joined the calendar in 2005.

"Finally we made it; in the last couple of races we tried very hard and now we are ahead of these white cars," said Vettel, the only driver other than Button to have won this year.

"I think we have a very good chance here, a very good car. I expected more difficulties in qualifying; it wasn't easy but we made it," added the German, whose two previous wins came from pole position.

"As you say, every pole man has won here," said Button, who had been going for his third pole in a row after winning five of the season's six races. "We're going to try and change that tomorrow."

The Briton's team boss Ross Brawn reserved judgement.

"Obviously we would've liked pole position, but it will be interesting to see what the fuel loads are," he told the BBC.

"If early season form is anything to go by, the Red Bulls are lighter than we are but we will have to see."

Only a sprinkling of spectators turned out to enjoy a gloriously sunny afternoon at the Istanbul Park circuit, with rows of empty seats in the grandstands reflecting the credit crunch and an apparent lack of interest among locals.

Italian Jarno Trulli qualified fifth for Toyota, a boost for the Japanese team after a dismal Monaco Grand Prix weekend, with Ferrari's 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen alongside him.

Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa, who is chasing his fourth successive Turkish Grand Prix after taking pole position for the past three years, qualified seventh.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton had another difficult afternoon and will start 16th after failing to make it through the first qualifying session. The Briton was beaten by Force India's Adrian Sutil, who will start 15th after reaching the second part of qualifying for the second race in a row.


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