Hamilton claims Korean pole ahead of Vettel

    Lewis Hamilton is congratulated by Sebastian Vettel after claiming pole position in Korea.

    Story highlights

    • Lewis Hamilton fastest in qualifying for Sunday's Korean Grand Prix
    • McLaren star relegates new double world champion Sebastian Vettel to second on grid
    • Hamilton's teammate Jenson Button qualifies third fastest
    • Casey Stoner qualifies fastest for Sunday's Australia MotoGP
    Britain's Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Korean Grand Prix Saturday with a dominant qualifying performance in his McLaren.
    Hamilton was fastest through all three phases of the hour-long session, culminating in the fastest lap of one minute 35.820 seconds to leave new double world champion Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull in second place on the grid.
    It was a welcome return to the head of affairs for the 2008 world champion, who has been off the podium for the last five races.
    It was his 19th career pole, but his first for over a year, denying Vettel, who clinched the title in Japan last week, his sixth straight pole.
    Hamilton, who saw his teammate Jenson Button win at Suzuka to cement second in the title race, was pleased with McLaren's improvement at the end of a season dominated by Red Bull.
    "I'm very proud of what the team has been able to achieve over the last few races, but tomorrow is the day that really counts," he told the post-qualifying press conference.
    Button, the 2009 champion, was third fastest ahead of Australian Mark Webber in the second Red Bull and the two Ferraris of Brazilian Felipe Massa and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
    Nico Rosberg of Germany was seventh for Mercedes, but his teammate Michael Schumacher did not make the final top 10 qualifying session.
    Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault and the two Force India cars driven by British rookie Paul Di Resta and German Adrian Sutil rounded out the top 10.
    Conditions were dry at the Korean International Circuit after Friday's downpour where Hamilton and Button dominated the practice sessions.
    In other motorsport news Saturday, Casey Stoner took pole position for his home MotoGP in Australia as he closed on his second world title.
    The 25-year-old Australian was half a second fastest on his Honda then reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo of Spain on a Yamaha.
    Stoner's teammate, Italian Marco Simoncelli, rounded out the front row of the grid, 0.624sec behind Stoner.
    Stoner can wrap up the championship crown with victory at Phillip Island Sunday if Lorenzo fails to finish the race.