Red Bull were upbeat yesterday, despite their 100% pole position record coming to an end in Canada as Lewis Hamilton beat Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel to the top grid spot.
Webber will start alongside Hamilton on the front row tomorrow, while Vettel starts third. Crucially though, the duo will start the race on the harder compound of Bridgestone tyre – as this was used to set their fastest qualifying lap – while Hamilton will have to start on super-soft tyres, which have limited durability.
“We thought we could do a good job in qualifying on the hard tyre and it turned out to be the case,” said Webber, who narrowly missed out on a fourth consecutive pole. “We knew we would still try and have a crack at the front row, but we also knew the McLarens were very strong on the option tyre, which they elected to take.”
“It's a long race tomorrow, we're planning to do the best we can and we're hoping the tyres will be beneficial to us, added the Aussie. “We're also mindful that there might be the odd safety car here and there – there are many different ways tomorrow's race may unfold. But, we've stuck to our guns, done a great job and Seb and I are in the top three again.”
Vettel was pleased with how qualifying went, and predicts that the prime tyre will be the right one to be on for the race. “My final lap wasn't that clean, so I'm happy I made it to third today; it's good,” said the German. “Looking to tomorrow, I think I should have a good start as I'm on the inside.
“I'm happy that both Mark and I made it to these positions with what is, from my point of view, the right tyre. Yesterday's practice showed that the soft tyre is quite difficult to last for more than a couple of laps.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, said that this track doesn’t suit the RB6 as well as others on the calendar, and is therefore pretty pleased with second and third in qualifying, especially when it was achieved using the harder tyre:
“A really interesting qualifying session,” said Horner. “We opted for a strategically different route to the other cars around us, by opting to run on the hard tyre.
“Both drivers felt it was the better tyre to start the race on tomorrow. I'm very happy with both Mark and Sebastian's performance at this track that, coming here, we knew shouldn't be one of our strongest. So to achieve second and third is a really strong team result.”