Sebastian Vettel kicked off his first season with Red Bull Racing in impressive style pacing third quickest in qualifying for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
The German said the result was a good starting point for the team.
Sebastian Vettel – 3rd: “It’s been a difficult two days leading up to qualifying. I only had the pleasure of completing one lap in the first practice, then I made a mistake in the second, which meant we couldn’t run through our programme. Then we had a failure this morning, which cost us some track time, so it’s been anything but ideal! Nevertheless, I think we pulled everything together; we’ve been looking deeply at the data and trying to prepare well for qualifying. I think we succeeded, so thanks to everyone.
“We had a tough winter and I’ve been surprised how close the feeling in the car is to last year. With all the regulation changes it’s impressive what all the people have done – it’s very tight at the front of the grid and all through the midfield. At times we have even wondered if we would make it to Q2, so now we are third on the second row of the grid, I’m looking forward to tomorrow. This is for sure a good starting point.”
Mark Webber – 10th: “I’m not rapped with my last lap. My previous flying laps had gone well, so I would have liked a better result, but that’s where we are so we’ll try to make something from the race. The bumps were quite bad in Turn nine on the final run. The team’s done a good job and we’ve worked well through our programme over the winter. It’s a shame I didn’t get the best time in qualifying, but we’ll see how we go from there tomorrow.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “It was a great team effort today and we have two cars in the top ten. After losing some track time this morning, Sebastian has done a great job. Third is a fantastic place to start the first Grand Prix and he’s the nearest car to the super-quick Brawns. I think we can enjoy a good race tomorrow. After all that Mark has been through in the last few months, recovering from a broken leg, I think he put in an excellent performance today. A small mistake on his final lap in such a tight grid cost him several positions, but I’m sure he will have a strong race tomorrow.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support: “After the last test, we didn’t know where we were in terms of pace, so it’s great to see that we are very near the front. Third is very good and Mark made some fantastic laps and showed good pace, so I’m positive for tomorrow. I’m happy and the engine is working fine. I have sadness for Pierre-Emeric and want to remember him. I think about him, especially in this moment of qualifying, when he was so focused and enthusiastic. So, we think about him and let’s see for tomorrow.”