Sebastian Vettel was delighted with his pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, revealing how hard it was not to get distracted by the numerous accidents during the session.
Vettel dominated every segment of qualifying and took pole position by a considerable margain. The young German now hopes to win tomorrow to keep his slim championship chances alive.
Meanwhile Mark Webber was forced to miss qualifying after his heavy practice crash. Although Webber was uninjured, his mechanics could not prepare the car in time for qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel – 1st:
“I did my best not to get distracted today; it was a strange session with a lot of incidents. The most important thing is that all the drivers are OK. In Qualifying, it s usual that you re looking for the limit, as it s about just one fast lap time, but Turn Nine, where the people went off, is quite difficult. If you go too wide on that kerb you re basically just a passenger, as you can t get rid of the speed. There s not much run-off, so the wall is close and people hit it. For the other cars, sometimes you re lucky and the red flag is called just as you re about to warm up your tyres, but sometimes it s called when you ve started your flying lap. The car worked fantastically today and we were quickest in Q1, Q2 and Q3. The most difficult was probably Q3, due to running with race fuel and only having one lap. It s not easy through the S-bends and the tyres don t really last for a second lap. I m very happy, we re back to full strength since Singapore and have now put the car on pole. A good day today, now let s see tomorrow.â€
Mark Webber – 20th:
“You think of the preparation that goes into a weekend like this, so to not have the opportunity to do the race from a decent grid position is very tough for all of us especially the guys in the garage. It wasn t a big crash by any means, but it did too much damage to the chassis, so we have to change it. We don t have spare cars these days, so that s the outcome and it s a shame. We made a few changes to the car for the final run and I lost control when it bottomed-out through Turn Eight.â€
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal:
“A great performance by Sebastian and the team. We were fastest in all three sessions and have a healthy fuel load for the race; we ll wait with interest to see the fuel figures later today. So, a good start for Sebastian. It s unfortunate for Mark not to be able to take part in qualifying when the car has proved so competitive here. It s important tomorrow that we attack the race from both ends of the grid.â€
Fabrice Lom, Renault, principal engineer track support:
“A fantastic result – especially on this track, which requires a lot of power from the engine and a very good chassis – and we have both! Pole position is the best we could do today, so let s wait for the weights and see if we can turn it into a win. It was such a shame for Mark. He was in very good shape, but unfortunately lost the car – although we re rebuilding it now to give him the chance to fight back tomorrow. Qualifying proved this is a difficult track, as a lot of people lost their cars in the same place.â€