Sebastian Vettel admitted his delight at taking a third successive pole position after topping the times in qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.
The Red Bull man went into the session having topped the times in final practice and laid down a marker on his first run in Q3 as he went comfortably clear of the chasing pack.
While Lewis Hamilton was able to improve on his second run, the Briton fell two-tenths of a second shy of knocking Vettel off the top of the pile, with the German admitting he had needed to push hard to cement his position out front.
“I think it was a fairly close one as we could see,” he said. “I had a very good lap on my first run and I knew it would be a tricky one to beat. I tried again on my second run but I caught up to Kimi and I didn't have time in hand to drop back and go again. Fortunately, the first lap was enough.
“As we expected, Mercedes was very strong and they seem to be comfortable in the middle sector, while we were good in sector one. I wasn't entirely happy with the balance of the car yesterday but we got it right and I think we can be very happy with what we achieved.”
Vettel added that he wasn't concerned by the possibility of rain on race day in Korea and was confident about his chances regardless of the conditions.
“I don't mind what the weather does and it isn't a disaster for me if it rains as we have wet tyres in the garage,” he said. “They are talking about heavy wind but it seems to have died down since I arrived earlier in the week and the typhoon has changed direction.
“It doesn't matter to me if it rains. We've done the job today and I'm looking forward to the race.”