Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has been near unbeatable on Saturday this season. Now, he has made it seven poles out of eight races with a time of 1:36.975 in Valencia, Spain. The German will line up alongside his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, whose best effort was 0.188 slower than the benchmark. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was third, four tenths slower than Vettel.

Behind the temperamental Brit is the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Jenson Button, who drove a sensational race to win the previous race in Canada, is in sixth. The other men who got into Q3 were Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil.

Q3 wasn’t that action packed as both Mercedes GP Petronas cars made minimal runs, while Heidfeld and Sutil did none. These guys who choose to preserve their faster soft tyres for the race (since they won’t be fighting for pole anyway) may not get to do this for long.

“At the moment if you don’t set a time, for example in Q3, then you are able to choose the tyres that you start on. It means people could be saving a set of tyres because then they would be better off in the race. I’ve made a suggestion to put to the Sporting Working Group to say that actually in those circumstances, you should be made to use your Q2 tyres in that situation, so there is no advantage from not setting a time,” Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery said. Just do it, FIA.

Team Lotus is in their usual 19th and 20th position, with Heikki leading Jarno, who spun in Q1. Kovalainen was 3.251 behind the fastest time of Q1, a big gap behind the slowest midfield man, Jaime Alguersuari, who was 1.819 behind the same benchmark.