Having topped the times in final practice, Sebastian Vettel again led the way in qualifying to clinch pole position for the Korean Grand Prix at the Yeongam circuit.
The German jumped to the top of the times on his first run in Q3 with a lap that put him comfortably clear of his rivals and despite Lewis Hamilton being able to improve his own time during his second run, the Mercedes man still fell short of the defending champion.
In the end, Vettel was able to abort his second run, with a time of 1min 37.202secs being enough to given him a third successive pole position by two-tenths of a second from Hamilton.
Mark Webber had looked set to give Red Bull a 1-2, on the times at least, before being demoted back to third spot, with the Australian having elected to abandon his second run in Q3.
Webber will however line up down in 13th place thanks to the ten place grid penalty imposed for the reprimand he picked up for the now infamous 'taxi-ride' in Singapore.
Romain Grosjean was fourth quickest for Lotus having come good on his suggestion after Friday practice that the top five was possible for the Enstone-based team, with Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso rounding out the top six; Alonso being the final driver able to get within a second of Vettel's benchmark time.
Felipe Massa was seventh ahead of Sauber duo Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez, the pair getting through to the final stage of qualifying together for the first time this season and both outpacing the second Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, who was well over a second down on his team-mate.
Qualifying proved to be a disappointment for McLaren as both Sergio Perez and Jenson Button failed to make it through to Q3 in a fraught finish to the second phase of the session.
Despite their best efforts, the pair fell less than 0.040secs shy of the lap time required to make it out of Q2 and had to settle for eleventh and twelfth on the grid, although both will be promoted a place by Webber's penalty.
Daniel Ricciardo in 13th and the final man to make up a place at Webber's expense, with Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta back in 14th and 15th for Force India as the Silverstone-based team continued its recent struggles.
Jean-Eric Vergne was 16th on the times ahead of Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado, who again failed to make it past Q1 – although Bottas came noticeably closer having lapped half a second quicker than his team-mate.
Charles Pic edged out team-mate Giedo van der Garde to head the Caterham/Marussia battle at the back, with Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton sharing the back row.
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