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Vettel wins Australian pole as Red Bull dominate qualifying

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel celebrated the seventh pole position of his career at Albert Park in Melbourne.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel celebrated the seventh pole position of his career at Albert Park in Melbourne.
  • Sebastian Vettel seeks to be fourth successive driver to win from pole in Melbourne
  • German wins pole position from Red Bull teammate Mark Webber at Australian Grand Prix
  • Ferrari's Fernando Alonso third ahead of world champion Jenson Button of McLaren
  • Nico Rosberg in sixth again outperforms Mercedes teammate Michael Schumacher

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel claimed his second successive pole position of the Formula One season as Red Bull dominated qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The German clocked a track record of one minute 23.919 seconds in front of a crowd of 82,000 in Melbourne, while teammate Mark Webber gave fans hope of a home victory by coming home in second in 1:24.035.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was delighted, though was a little worried about bad weather forecast for Sunday's race.

"Inclement weather looks as if it's looming for tomorrow afternoon, but there's no better place to start the race than from the front," he told the official Formula One Web site.

Video: Michael Schumacher's comeback

"Our strategy was slightly different to the other teams with our tire choice in Q1 and Q2, but both drivers did excellent jobs and we're in good shape for Sunday."

Fernando Alonso, who won the opening race of 2010 in Bahrain after leader Vettel suffered spark plug problems, will start third on the grid after clocking 1:24.111. His Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa was back in fifth with a time of 1:24.837.

World champion Jenson Button, who won last year's race from pole -- the third successive driver to do so following Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton -- was fourth in 1:24.675.

Inclement weather looks as if it's looming for tomorrow, but there's no better place to start than from the front
--Red Bull boss Christian Horner

His McLaren teammate Hamilton failed to make it into the third and final round of qualifying and will start from 11th place.

The British driver, world champion in 2008, said his performance was not affected by his run-in with police on Friday after being caught speeding in his Mercedes.

"It was silly but it is one of those things you learn from. It was not a good experience but I move forward. We all make mistakes and I apologize," Friday's practice pacesetter Hamilton told reporters.

Nico Rosberg again outperformed his older teammate Michael Schumacher as he qualified sixth for Mercedes in 1:24.884.

Seven-time world champion Schumacher, who was sixth in his comeback race in Bahrain, was next fastest in 1:24.927.

Williams veteran Rubens Barrichello was eighth, ahead of Renault's Robert Kubica, with Force India driver Adrian Sutil rounding out the top-10.

The new teams again struggled, with Lotus, Virgin and HRT filling the bottom six places as they failed to make it past the first session.