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Live Commentary: Indian Grand Prix qualifying - as it happened

Live coverage of qualifying for the 2013 Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi.
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Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has secured pole position for tomorrow's Indian Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion is joined by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg on the front row, while Lewis Hamilton will start from third.

Vettel's teammate Mark Webber qualified fourth, but will start the race on the medium compound tyre.

Read how all the action unfolded below:


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Good morning. It's around half-an-hour until qualifying gets underway at the Buddh International Circuit. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has been fastest all weekend, and has been on pole at this race for the last two years.

This could be the last race at the Buddh International Circuit for a while. The Indian event has been dropped from next year's calendar, although organisers are hoping that they will be able to return to Delhi in 2015.

Yesterday's and this morning's practices for tomorrow's race have not been without incident. Williams were handed a hefty fine yesterday after Pastor Maldonado lost a wheel fastener during second practice. This morning, there was drama in the pit lane as Nico Hulkenberg clipped one of his mechanics on his way into the Sauber garage, leaving him with a fractured toe.

Mercedes have been the biggest challengers to Red Bull in qualifying this season, claiming eight poles at the 15 races that have already taken place this year. However, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have both ruled out the possibility of a front-row start this weekend, believing that the Red Bulls are too fast.

Vettel's only challenge for pole position today is likely to come from within the Red Bull garage. Mark Webber was fastest on Saturday at the last Grand Prix in Japan, but was over half a second slower than the German is third practice this morning.

Let's take a closer look at the track that is hosting this weekend's Grand Prix. The 3.192 mile circuit opened in 2011, and features 16 corners. Since its introduction to F1, it's been a popular facility with the drivers, who have compared sections of the track to Spa-Francorchamps and Istanbul Park.

As always, qualifying is split into three sessions. After 20 minutes, the slowest six cars are eliminated, followed by a further six after a 15-minute spell. The top 10 then have 10 minutes to battle it out for pole position.

PREDICTION! With just a couple of minutes until the pit lance opens, most drivers are getting into their cars ready to go. With that in mind, there's just time for a prediction. Barring a mechanical issue for the current world champion, I can't see anyone beating Vettel today. I think he'll clinch pole for a third year in a row at this track.

GREEN LIGHT! Esteban Gutierrez and Giedo van der Garde are among the first to head out as the first part of qualifying gets underway.

One driver who doesn't look ready yet is Vettel, he's only just strolled into the Red Bull garage, while teammate Mark Webber is going through some final checks with his engineers. Back on track, Gutierrez has started his first timed lap of the session.

Gutierrez is the first to post a time, lapping in 1:27.529. Lewis Hamilton's engineers says that he will have to do a 1:25 to secure a place in Q2, so there's work to do for the Sauber driver if Mercedes's calculations are correct.

Gutierrez's Sauber teammate Nico Hulkenberg goes 0.03 second slower than the Mexican, but Rosberg and Hamilton both manage to better the Sauber drivers, with the German topping the times with a 1:26.622.

Raikkonen and Di Resta both manage to move above Hamilton, but Rosberg remains on top. Only the Red Bulls, Alonso and Grosjean are yet to post a lap time, while Perez manages to jump up from 18th to first with a 1:26.533, but Rosberg quickly betters his time. Bottas appears to be struggling with his Williams. He currently has the slowest lap time, and has just run well wide at turn 10.

Grosjean is on track looking to set his first time of the session, while Webber, Alonso and Vettel all remain in their garages. Bottas has managed to improve, moving up to 10th. It's the usual suspects at the bottom, as the Marussias and the Caterhams make up the slowest four cars so far, with around seven minutes remaining in Q1.

Gutierrez is showing strong pace as he sets the fastest time of the session so far with a 1:26.057. Alonso and the Red Bulls are now on track, and the Spaniard has been told that he will be doing three timed laps, and he quickly edges past the Sauber driver with a time of 1:25.934.

Vettel sets his first lap time, and the medium tyres, finishing just nine-thousandths behind the Ferrari driver. Webber quickly follows, slipping into third. Alongside the Caterhams and Marussias, it's Jean-Eric Vergne and Pastor Maldonado heading out as things stand.

Di Resta posts a new fastest time, beating Alonso by just over a tenth of a second, but he's quickly knocked down to second by Raikkonen. Grosjean is pushing hard as he looks to move up the times, but he runs well wide, ruining his lap.

CHEQUERED FLAG! As the flag drops, it's still Vergne and Maldonado joining the Caterhams and Marussias in the bottom six. We'll wait for the drivers to finish their laps to see who is heading out.

Vergne has got himself out of trouble, dropping Felipe Massa into the bottom six.

Massa moves up to fourth with a last-gasp effort, dumping Grosjean out of qualifying. Let's take a look at bottom six.

OUT! 17. Grosjean, 18. Maldonado, 19. Bianchi, 20. Van der Garde, 21. Pic, 22. Chilton

So the big loser in Q1 is Romain Grosjean, who thought he would have enough pace on the medium tyres to make it through to Q2. Maldonado also misses out, while his teammates, Valtteri Bottas managed to climb away from the bottom of the leader board with his final time of the session.

It was Jenson Button who managed to post the fastest time late on in Q1, while Vettel, who didn't use the soft tyre, slipped down to 11th. Webber put the softs on his Red Bull, and finished second, just 0.09 seconds behind the Brit.

GREEN LIGHT! Qualifying gets back underway. It doesn't look like anyone is in a hurry to take to the track though.

Kimi Raikkonen is the first driver to head out of his garage. He's struggled to beat his teammate in recent races in qualifying, but with Grosjean already out, the Finn will be the best-placed Lotus on tomorrow's grid. The Saubers and Fernando Alonso are also now on their outlaps.

While we wait for the first timed lap of the session, we can see that McLaren are clearly pleased with Jenson Button's performance in Q1



Raikkonen is the first to finish a lap, posting a time of 1:25.279, but Alonso quickly better his with a 1:25.546. Sutil appears to have had a problem on his first Q2 lap though, he's more than 10 seconds off the pace.

Nico Rosberg moves to the top with a time of 1:25.337, while Hamilton slots in 0.158 second slower. Meanwhile Vettel is just getting into his car ready for his first outing of Q2.

Bottas could be pushing for a place in Q3. He currently sits eighth less than 0.8 seconds off the lead and only Vettel yet to post a time. Webber replaces Rosberg at the top, but Vettel goes even faster, beating his teammate by more than half a second.

At the moment it would be Bottas, who has slipped down the times, Vergne, Sutil, Ricciardo, Hulkeberg and Gutierrez heading out, but there just short of two minutes remaining.

CHEQUERED FLAG! Hulkenberg and Ricciardo are both on good laps at the chequered flag drops. There should still be plenty of change at the bottom. Meanwhile, Alonso is up to second.

OUT! 11. Ricciardo, 12. Di Resta, 13. Sutil, 14. Vergne, 15. Bottas, 16. Gutierrez

As the top teams manage to get their lap times down late in the session, Bottas and the Toro Rossos are among those to miss out. However, another impressive qualifying performance from Nico Hulkenberg has secured the Sauber driver a spot in the top 10, alongside the McLarens, Red Bulls, Mercedes, Ferraris and Raikkonen.

Vettel looked strong on the soft tyre, but Alonso did manage to split the Red Bulls. The Spaniard needs to win this race and hope that the German finishes outside the top five tomorrow to keep the drivers' championship alive until the next race.

GREEN LIGHT! The race for pole positions gets underway. Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso head straight out on the medium compound tyre. It's an interesting strategy, as the mediums are the better race tyre, but around 0.8 seconds slower in qualifying.

Vettel is also taking to the track, closely followed by Lewis Hamilton. It looks like most of the top teams will be looking to get two stints out of their drivers.

Alonso posts a time of 1:25.826, but Webber is 12 seconds back, having spent the lap warming up his tyres and finding track space. Vettel is also on his first timed lap, and going more than a second faster than Alonso.

It's a 1:24.119 for the championship leader, 1.7 seconds faster than Alonso for Vettel, while Webber moves into second. Hamilton has come back into the pits without posting a lap time.

Raikkonen, the Mercedes duo and the McLarens are all on track as they look to post their first times of the session, while Massa and Hulkenberg remain in the garage. Raikkonen manages to move above Alonso, 0.03 seconds behind Webber.

CHEQUERED FLAG! Rosberg managed to move into second, while Hamilton clinches third. Webber is still on a lap though, so could move back above them, although he is still on the slower tyre.

Webber misses out on the front row, finished just 0.1 seconds behind Hamilton. However, the Mercedes drivers and Vettel are still on laps.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL IS ON POLE POSITION FOR THE INDIAN GRAND PRIX!

Vettel pushed hard as he tried to improve his time, not that he needs to, but he runs well wide, so decides to come into the pits.

TOP 10! 1. Vettel, 2. Rosberg, 3. Hamilton, 4. Webber, 5. Massa, 6. Raikkonen, 7. Hulkenberg, 8. Alonso, 9. Perez, 10. Button

The split tyres strategies in the top 10, particularly by Mark Webber, should lead to a fascinating battle tomorrow. Hulkenberg continues his impressive recent form, qualifying seventh for the third race in a row. Alonso, Perez and Button all set their times on the medium tyre.

That's all from the Indian Grand Prix today, but stick around for reaction to this morning's qualifying session, and join us again tomorrow morning for live coverage of the race itself, where Vettel can seal his fourth consecutive world championship. Until then, thanks for joining me this morning, goodbye.

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Sebastian Vettel during qualifying for the Indian Formula One Grand Prix on October 26, 2013
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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