For a moment, it looked like the scarlet Ferrari of Fernando Alonso will be starting the first ever Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix on pole, with a 1:35.766 run that no one could beat. But as we’ve seen this season, qualifying is never decided until the dying seconds, and the Red Bulls had the final say at the inaugural Korean GP qualifying session. Sebastian Vettel snatched pole with a 1:35.585 and Webber secured the team its eighth front row shut out this year with a 1:35.659 lap.

Behind them in fourth was Lewis Hamilton, who easily out qualified McLaren teammate Jenson Button, who managed just seventh place. We didn’t see much of him on TV, but Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg did well to qualify fifth, well ahead of big name teammate Michael Schumacher in ninth. Felipe Massa was sixth, followed by Button and Robert Kubica in eighth. Barrichello’s Williams was the last car in Q3.

Teammate Nico Hulkenberg would’ve been in Q3 if not for a mistake in his final run in Q2. He is in 11th, followed by the Saubers of Kobayashi and Heidfeld. Further back, Jarno Trulli put his Lotus T127 ahead of the other new boys in 19th, with Virgin’s Timo Glock sandwiched in between him and teammate Kovalainen, who was 21st. The Finn, who was over a second slower than Trulli, was a victim of traffic and wrong strategy, according to the team. HRT’s Sakon Yamamoto outqualified Bruno Senna for the first time ever.

Doubts were raised on whether Korea could get its Yeongam circuit ready in time, so it’s good to see the race weekend in full swing, although the helicopter shots showed a middle of nowhere track located in wastelands. Let’s hope for good action in tomorrow’s race!

Click here for the qualifying time sheet.