Sebastian Vettel declared himself ‘pretty pleased’ after matching Nigel Mansell‘s record of fourteen pole positions within an F1 season today in Abu Dhabi.
The world champion described this pole as ‘very special’, purely because it means he now shares that record set back in 1992.
“I'm pretty pleased,” he said. “Yesterday I wasn't very happy with my own performance and with the car and I didn't feel that comfortable. Today was much better straightaway when we went out this afternoon, but this evening when the sun went down, I had a much better feeling and the car was more together. It came in my direction and helped us.
“McLaren looked strong throughout the weekend, but I thought if I get everything right then in Q3 then we might have a chance (for the pole) and that's the way it came for us. I'm very pleased with the pole and it's a very special one to equal Nigel Mansell as well. It's a fantastic year and it's not over yet, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber will start from fourth place, with the two McLaren drivers starting ahead of him. “I’m disappointed with my last run, it was a bit scrappy,” said the Australian. “We had to communicate more than normal during the out lap due to a few things we were managing, so that affected the prep a little. I'm disappointed as there is certainly more there.
“Sometimes you see Seb’s lap and you go, 'wow you can’t do that', he did a good lap for sure today, but I didn’t feel like I got the most out of it when it counted. It will be an interesting first sector, then we’ll get into the race from there. I think this track is traditionally pretty hard to pass on, so it’s likely to be down to the DRS zone and pit stops.”
Christian Horner was, once again, full of superlatives for his top driver.
“An unbelievable final lap from Sebastian, to get the pole in what was a really exciting final qualifying tonight,” he said, summarising the session. “It's a remarkable achievement for him to equal Nigel Mansell's 14 poles in a single season, which by coincidence also happened to be achieved in an Adrian Newey designed car back in 1992, with a Renault engine. It was a tremendous achievement for Sebastian.
“In such a tight qualifying session, it all came down to the final run and Mark in P4 was only two tenths off the front row; it demonstrates just how tight it is this weekend. I'm sure we're set for a really exciting race tomorrow.”