Sebastian Vettel said that he had a ‘perfect’ qualifying session after taking pole by over three tenths of a second from Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber in Singapore today.
The German, who could mathematically seal a second title here this weekend, set a time good enough for pole on his first flying lap in Q3. He aborted the second attempt after making a mistake, but believes that he could have gone faster.
“On the last run, I maybe tried a bit too much going into the really tricky chicane around Turn 10,” he said. “I think I could have made it, but I decided to abort the lap, as it can be so easy to damage the car. I was happy with my first lap – I think the track ramped up a little bit by the end, so it was possible to go faster, but all in all it was a perfect session and I'm very happy, especially around here.
“It's a very fun track and a big challenge. It's difficult with so many corners and it's a long lap to get everything together, but we kept our heads cool and did it today. It's great we have both cars on the front row, but let's see tomorrow, it's a very, very long race.”
Webber has never really excelled at Singapore, so was pretty pleased to secure a front row grid slot, even if he was beaten, again, by his team-mate.
“I'm pretty happy with that,” said the Australian. “It's been a pretty testing venue for me in the past, particularly on Saturdays, although racing I normally go a bit better around here. Seb laid it down pretty hard and fast for all of us today – he's very quick round here and he did a great job for the pole. It's pretty rare he makes a mistake. He was very quick for the whole lap and to put it all together for all of us is very challenging here – it's easy to make up a bit, but then lose it on the next straight. Overall I'm satisfied and given the curveballs that teams can face around here to have both cars up there is a great result for us.”
Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, was obviously very pleased with the result. “A fantastic team performance,” he declared. “To secure an all front row is phenomenal and it's our best qualifying performance in Singapore. It was a tricky qualifying session, navigating the traffic early on and needing to get clean laps.
“It came down to Q3 and Sebastian produced a phenomenal first lap which was good enough for pole. On the second run he made a small mistake at Turn 10 and aborted the lap to save the tyres, which puts him in great shape for tomorrow.
“Mark made a big step on the last run – it was a good effort from him at a track which he has not been totally comfortable at all weekend, so a great performance by him and a great effort by the team to have locked out the front row.”