Sebastian Vettel beat Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg to pole position for the Indian Grand Prix as diverging tyre strategies set up an intriguing race. Vettel, who has been in imperious form all weekend, was 0.752 seconds clear of Rosberg, but beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.07secs.

Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber was fourth on the medium tyre in search of an advantage during the race. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso made the same choice and qualified eighth.

The Spaniard is the only driver who mathematically can prevent Vettel from tying up his fourth consecutive world championship this weekend, although it an extreme long-shot.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was fifth ahead of Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg. McLaren drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button were ninth and 10th on the medium tyre.

Pos Driver                Team                 Time          Gap   
 1. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m24.119s
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m24.871s  +0.752s
 3. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m24.941s  +0.822s
 4. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m25.047s  +0.928s
 5. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m25.201s  +1.082s
 6. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m25.248s  +1.129s
 7. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       1m25.334s  +1.215s
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m25.826s  +1.707s
 9. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m26.153s  +2.034s
10. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m26.487s  +2.368s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m25.458s                                    Gap 
11. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m25.519s  +0.951s
12. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m25.711s  +1.143s
13. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m25.740s  +1.172s
14. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m25.798s  +1.230s
15. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m26.134s  +1.566s
16. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m26.336s  +1.768s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m26.178s                                    Gap
17. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m26.577s  +1.003s
18. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m26.842s  +1.268s
19. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m26.970s  +1.396s
20. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m27.105s  +1.531s
21. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m27.487s  +1.913s
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m28.138s  +2.564s