Christian Horner hailed ‘another great performance’ by Mark Webber after the Australian driver made it a hat-trick of consecutive pole positions today in Istanbul, and Red Bull secured their seventh pole in seven races.
Sebastian Vettel qualified third in the sister Red Bull, with Lewis Hamilton preventing a front-row lock-out for the team.
Webber benefited from some additional parts which arrived just moments before the start of the qualifying, but the winner of the last two races knows that pole position does not guarantee the race win around Istanbul Park.
“Today went well,” said Webber. “We had a problem during practice this morning so I went out late for the first prime run. It meant I was therefore a little on the back foot going into qualifying, which wasn't ideal preparation, but we refocused and got ready.
“Some new parts were bolted on to the rear of my car about four minutes before I went out for Q1, which was a great effort by the guys to get them on in time.
“It's a great position to start tomorrow's race, but each event is unique and has it own challenges. We know the tyres get a hard time round here, so it should be an interesting race – I'm looking forward to it.”
Sebastian Vettel, who changed his chassis from ‘Luscious Liz’ to ‘Randy Mandy’ this weekend, is reasonably happy with his second-row grid slot. The German gave a detailed run-down of his Q3 problems: “Q1 and Q2 were very smooth; I was happy with the car and there were no problems.
“In Q3, the first lap was brilliant up to Turn 12, then under braking I slightly locked the front which was no issue, but it was very weird as the inside front just kept locking and never came back. Going into Turn 13 I was turning to the right and the wheels started turning again and then the same thing going into Turn 14. I locked the inside wheel very easily, the car didn't seem to stop, so I lost time.
“On the second run I got confirmation in the first turn there was a problem, as I hit the brakes and went straight – I lost the ability to stop the car and the inside wheel didn't do what it was supposed to.
“In Q1 and Q2 we were on top of the game, but in Q3 we were not, so it's quite frustrating. All weekend I have felt very good, particularly today.
“Third is still a good position; I'm on the clean side of the grid tomorrow and it's a long race. It's difficult to make up places now with the new regulations, but we'll see what we can do.”
Team principal Christian Horner was understandably happy with the qualifying result, and had praise for a third driver today as well: “Another great performance by Mark today for his third consecutive pole and the team's seventh of the year, which is a great achievement.
“It was difficult for Sebastian who, having been the quickest car during Q1 and Q2, experienced a car problem in the last part of qualifying. We need to understand what it was, as it cost him quite a bit of time. However to salvage third place is still excellent.
“I also have to say congratulations to Cengiz, one of our drivers, who delivered some last minute parts to Mark Webber's car just in time for the start of the session. So, three very fast drivers today.”
Phot Credit: Malcolm Griffiths/Getty Images