Webber takes fight to STR, but can’t stop Vettel
A late qualifying effort against the grain of worsening conditions, vaulted Mark Webber onto the second row of the grid in Monza giving the Red Bull family further cause for celebration ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.
The Aussie ace, who was last at the sharp-end of the grid in Great Britain when he hustled his RB4 into P2, found himself locked in a fierce battle with his Red Bull sisters for the front row after rain in Q2 claimed the scalp of its usual occupiers.
For a moment it looked as though the Red Bull driver would take up his usual place in eighth or ninth after almost losing control at the Ascari chicane on his first flying lap, but a last ditch effort in the dying seconds, as the rain fell even harder, saw him catapult up alongside Sebastien Bourdais in third, albeit behind future team-mate and pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.
“I didn’t have a very good run on my first lap in Q3 and thought I’d messed up the session, as I was told it was going to rain again,” confessed the 31-year-old.
“It was difficult to get the at the end with the conditions as they were, but I knew I had to do it. It was crucial to get both of the chicanes right and I really had to focus on the Ascari Chicane because it was like running on rail tracks.”
“I drilled that though and it helped me to get my lap time. It should be a pretty interesting race tomorrow if the conditions are like this again! Toro Rosso have been fast in the last couple of races and they did very well today.”
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner was delighted with the result, if not slightly disappointed to see David Coulthard get caught out by the conditions.
“A very exciting three qualifying sessions with the varying amounts of rain. Both drivers progressed comfortably into Q2 and Mark made it into Q3, with David ending up in an unlucky 13th position,” he said.
“It was a great drive from Mark to qualify third. It’s been a great day for Red Bull and congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on his first pole position. Three Red Bull chassis in the first four is a fantastic result.”
Renault’s Fabrice Lom added: “For Red Bull Renault, it was a good qualifying result today. Mark is third on a track that we hope will be good for us tomorrow.”
“It will be a bit more difficult for David in 13th, but the conditions were changing during Q2 and he had some bad luck as the rain was stronger for him when he went out.”
“It was the same for Raikkonen and Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel is on pole position, so well done to him and Toro Rosso.”