Sebastian Vettel is still looking forward to challenging the frontrunners in tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix despite qualifying down in sixth. All eyes were on Red Bull in qualifying to see their true pace and Vettel admitted he was never a contender in the battle for pole position. Despite that though, he still sees possibility to move forward tomorrow.
“It's the first qualifying of the year, so it's always difficult to know what to expect, but I think what we saw today was not a surprise, the lap times were close. We would have loved to have been closer to the front, but in Q3 I wasn't happy with my lap. I made a mistake at the beginning and lost some time, so that was down to me. I could have been one or two places higher, but that's how it goes. We are not starting at the front, but we are not starting at the back either, so it's far from disastrous and regarding the car we know what we need to do. We have a long race ahead of us tomorrow and a lot of opportunities, so I'm looking forward to it.”
Vettel will be joined on the third row by Mark Webber with the Australian outqualifying his teammate for the first time since Germany last year, despite a KERS problem. Webber admitted the pace of the cars ahead was impressive and expects the race to be closely fought.
“We knew there were some quick guys out there – McLaren and Mercedes especially and Roman did well too. Everyone always thinks we have special bits to keep coming back, but this year it's opened right up. I didn't have KERS at the end of the session, which affects your rhythm during qualifying – it's a shame as it's been faultless all winter. I'm pleased with my lap in Q3. We can still get on the podium tomorrow, but we have some fast cars around us, no question about it.”
Team Principal Christian Horner is keeping calm and has pinpointed the two DRS zones as a possible means of moving forward tomorrow.
“Mark lost his KERS going into Q3, which is the first KERS problem we have had all winter. It's unfortunate that it had to strike at the most critical time of qualifying but, nonetheless, he did an excellent lap to record the fifth fastest time. Sebastian never seemed to really find the pace in the car that seemed to be there this morning, so we have plenty to look at this evening. Fifth and sixth is far from a disaster and with the double DRS zones available this year, I'm sure we can be in better shape tomorrow afternoon.”