Formula 1

Vettel beats Webber to Oz pole in ‘brilliant’ qualifying for Red Bull

2 Mins read

Red Bull boss Christian Horner hailed his team’s performance ‘brilliant’ after his drivers secured the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.

Speaking after qualifying, Horner pointed out that Vettel had also beaten Michael Schumacher’s lap record around the Albert Park circuit, which had stood since 2004, and is looking forward to tomorrow’s race. “It was a brilliant team qualifying performance today with great laps from both drivers to secure the front row. Sebastian also set a new track record for pole position. Inclement weather looks as if it's looming for tomorrow afternoon, but there's no better place to start the race than from the front. Our strategy was slightly different to the other teams with our tyre choice in Q1 and Q2, but both drivers did excellent jobs and we're in good shape for Sunday.”

Vettel had no qualms about stealing the limelight from his teammate at his home grand prix and points out that he would have gone faster but for a small mistake towards the end of his flying lap. “A great result for the team. It's obviously Mark's home race here – but he got pole in Germany, so it's kind of a revenge (laughs)! But, it's a long race tomorrow. I think we made a good step with the car ahead of today's qualifying.

“The final session was all about if it would rain or not, sowe waited a little bit at the start. My first lap in Q3 was the quickest and it was spot on until the last three corners. I was on the edge through Turn 14, but then I lost a little bit in last corner going on to the main straight. It was a very good lap up until that point though and the result says it all. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”

Webber was disappointed to miss out on pole in his home race, especially after setting the fastest time in this morning’s final practice session. The Aussie is hoping tomorrow’s race will be dry like qualifying. “I would prefer to be on pole position of course, but second is still a good result and it's great forthe team to have a one-two. It would be nice to be one place further up, but Seb did a good job. It was a good battle – with about 800ths between us in the end. I wasn't mega-concerned about the weather today, as it's the same for everyone and whatever happens, happens! I think tomorrow will be enjoyable – but I would prefer a dry race, as the track can get slippery with intermittent conditions.”

Fabrice Lom, the engine expert assigned to the team, is hoping that Renault power can translate the front row grid positions into a good race result. “[Today was] a super result, in fact the perfect one for qualifying. It was a very good performance, we have a fast car and good drivers. We're really happy, but as we can see from the last race, the most important thing is to finish tomorrow with no problems. We let Red Bull down at the last race with engine problems on both cars, so we will only enjoy it if we have no problems tomorrow and finish the race in the same positions.”

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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