Sebastian Vettel achieved his third successive Formula 1 pole position as he beats Lewis Hamilton in Yeongam.
Heading into qualifying, Mercedes seemed to have the pace to challenge Red Bull and yet the championship leader’s initial Q3 lap of one minute, 37.202 seconds put him 0.308 seconds clear of Hamilton.
Webber recorded the third quickest time but will drop down to P13 following his 10-place grid penalty for accumulating three driving reprimands.
Although Hamilton was able to get ahead of the Australian on his final pole shot, he was still 0.218 seconds adrift of Vettel, who was able to back off his own last lap, confident pole was secure.
With the grid penalty applied to Webber, Romain Grosjean will move up to third. The Lotus driver did a great job in qualifying to outpace the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and the Ferrari pair of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
As for his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn could only manage tenth, 1.3 seconds slower.
For the first time this year, Sauber managed to get both cars into Q3, with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez eighth and ninth fastest.
Sauber’s qualifying breakthrough came at McLaren’s expense however.
Despite encouraging performance in practice, both Sergio Perez and Jenson Button will start the Korean Grand Prix in P11 and P12, missing out in Q3 by 0.035 seconds and 0.038 seconds respectively.
The Toro Rossos and Force Indias were also eliminated in Q2, while neither Williams made it beyond Q1, although Valtteri Bottas could at least be pleased to outqualify his team-mate Pastor Maldonado by 0.5 seconds.
Charles Pic squeezed ahead of Caterham team-mate Giedo van der Garde by 0.007 seconds to lead the battle at the back of the grid.
So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel. His 42nd career pole position in the sport and his sixth this season. Can he win the race on Sunday and inch closer towards sealing the championship? Or will Lewis Hamilton give the young German a run for his money? We shall find out on race day.
Qualifying times from Yeongam:
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.202s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.420s
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.531s
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.679s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.038s
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m38.223s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.237s
8. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.405s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m38.822s
10. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.362s
11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.365s
12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.417s
13. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.464s*
14. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m38.431s
15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.718s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.781s
17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m39.470s
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m39.987s
19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m40.864s
20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m40.871s
21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.169s
22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m41.322s
107% time: 1m45.224s
*Ten-place grid penalty for accumulating three driving reprimands.