Red Bull were pleased to secure first and third positions on the Monaco Grand Prix grid after a difficult start to the weekend, but thoughts of both drivers were with Sergio Perez, who suffered a nasty accident in the closing stages of the qualifying session.
Sebastian Vettel claimed his fifth pole position of the season, and was obviously happy with that result. He also wished Perez all the best in his recovery.
“It's a long way around this track. Qualifying is tough, there are three segments and you have to give 100% in each one,” said Vettel. “My laps in Q1 and Q2 were not perfect, but in Q3 it was spot on, so I was happy with that.
“The most important thing to hear is that Sergio is okay and is conscious. We were sitting and waiting to go out, but we were watching the images on the TV screen as well and so we're all thinking of him and wish him all the best. Hopefully he will be fit again very soon.
“It wasn't easy to sit and wait for such a long time in the garage and not many people improved their time afterwards. It's a long race here tomorrow and lots of things can happen. We've seen this year with multiple pit stops that things can change. Pole position is very important here, so we can be happy with that, but there's no guarantee for tomorrow's race. We need to push hard and see what we can do.”
Mark Webber hopes that something can be done about the section of track where Perez crashed, which has also seen accidents for Jenson Button and Karl Wendlinger. He also congratulated the two drivers who qualified ahead of him, but still thinks he as a chance of victory from the second row of the grid.
“The races are more mixed up this year compared to the last few years, and tomorrow is no exception,” said the Australian. “It's possible to win from P3 but, that said, qualifying is crucial here and pole is certainly a nice benefit to have. Seb did a great lap and deserved pole and JB did too.
“It was a messy session for all of us – you never anticipate not getting a second go, but that's the way it fell today and bigger priorities took overwhen one of our colleagues, Sergio, had a crash. All our thoughts are with him; he's in great hands and he's talking and is conscious, which is good news; he'll bounce back I'm sure.
“We can learn from this in terms of safety here and it's probably an area that we need to look at improving for the future. Jenson was lucky and Karl Wendlinger back in the nineties – so there are a few places around here we need to keep an eye on.”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner is encouraged by the qualifying positions today, and also had some thoughts on Perez’s accident.
“On a day like today when you see an accident like Sergio Perez had, the main concern is his well being,” said Horner. “It sounds like the initial signs are positive, which is testimony to the strength of the cars and safety standards that the circuit now has.
“A similar accident for Karl Wendlinger in the nineties resulted in serious injuries, so the main thing today is that the initial signs are positive. Sergio's a strong boy and hopefully he'll be back to full health very quickly.
“Sebastian's performance in Q3 was quite phenomenal. The lap he produced was a classic balance of the speed and accuracy that's required around here – he delivered a very impressive lap time, so it's good for him.
“It's great to have Mark up there as well and he made a very strong recovery after a difficult start to the weekend. Having both drivers starting on the clean side of the grid ahead of tomorrow's race is very encouraging.”