Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber rubbished claims that the new rules on engine mapping would unsettle their dominant qualifying performances by locking-out the front row in qualifying for tomorrow’s European Grand Prix.
Vettel made securing his seventh pole position of the season look ridiculously straightforward but, as usual, pointed out that there is a long race ahead tomorrow, and anything can happen:
“There was a lot of talk going into this GP about the regulation changes and there will be a lot of talk before the next one,” said the reigning world champion, giving his views on the engine mapping discussions. “I think everyone will lose out on something, but people expect us to lose more than other teams and that is where I disagree.
“Overall it was a very good day for us – it's good to have the front row for our team, but it will be a long race tomorrow. It's always tough here. It's a tricky circuit, as there are so many corners – I think there are 25 before we cross the line again, so to get all of them right is very difficult and to get the perfect lap is quite tough. I think my first lap was quite good, I was very happy and Mark was obviously with his second run. So, it's a good result and a good place to start from tomorrow, we'll see what we can do.”
Webber’s second place gave Red Bull their third front-row lock-out of 2011, and said that he was very pleased with his final qualifying effort: “That was a pretty good lap,” he said. “There are so many corners here that you'd like to put them all together perfectly from all of your runs, but that's not the case and you have to try and put them together when it counts.
“I didn't have the smoothest build up in qualifying, so the guys did a good job to recover with me. I knew there was more to come on the last lap, I just had to put it all together. Still, it wasn't easy, but it was a good lap and it was good to go a bit faster in the last sector. Seb was strong in the first two, but in the end it is a great day for the team off the back of all the talk.
“Of course, there are no points today, so we'relooking forward to tomorrow's race and we'll go from there.”
Team principal Christian Horner praised all of the Red Bull team for their efforts in getting two cars at the sharp end of the grid, and is anticipating a good race tomorrow:
“A tremendous team performance and to have both drivers up on the front row is a great team result,” he said. “It's thanks to excellent execution in all three qualifying sessions and to the hard work that's going on – not only trackside, but also back in the factory – to ensure that we can continue to produce cars that are capable of challenging for the pole, week in and week out.
“There are no points for today however and with the double DRS zone that we know will be very powerful here, it will make for a fascinating race tomorrow.”