Mark Webber was delighted after claiming his first ever Formula One pole position around the Nurburgring circuit. The Australian driver showed great pace throughout the qualifying session and was able to pip both Brawn drivers in the dying seconds. After being encouraged by this result, Webber now believes that he is ready to score his maiden victory by winning tommrow’s German Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel failed to join his team mate on the front row of the grid, despite impressing over the course of the weekend. After qualifying, the local hero lamented a poor final qualifying run which would ultimately only be good enough for 4th. However Vettel remains confident that he can still emerge victorious from tommrow’s race if he can tackle the challenging conditions of the Eiffel Mountain circuit.
Mark Webber – 1st: “This is a very special day for me. I’ve been close to getting pole a few times in the past. Today we’re here and the team has done a great job. We’ve been quick all weekend and all the teams and drivers got really tested in that session. It was very, very chaotic and to deliver the lap time when it absolutely counted was very important to me. Getting the best time is fantastic. The car is working very well here and I was talking to my engineer Ciaran all the time, asking him what we were doing, because the track conditions were so hard; it looked quite dry, but the slicks just wouldn’t take it at all.
“In Q2, it was really hard to read what we needed for the last ten minutes. In the end, the key for me was three clean sectors and that’s what got me pole. I called on my experience and I have a great team of people, the guys on the pit wall making the right calls for me. They can see what the other drivers are doing. We’re the best drivers in the world and we know when people are making mistakes that it’s down to the wrong tyres. So we stick to the decisions we make and believe in them and go out and do the best we can, because we know everyone’s in a bit of trouble in those conditions. A huge thanks to all the team, both here and in the factory and I hope that it can be my first win tomorrow. We’re in a fantastic position to do it. Obviously these guys (Barrichello and Button) have had a very strong season and will push us, but we’re looking forward to a fight. I’m up for trying to take my first race win tomorrow if I can.”
Sebastian Vettel – 4th: “Today’s qualifying was a bit of a lottery – especially in Q2, as you never knew which tyres to put on. In Q3, it was back to dry tyres, but it was very tight. The circuit was getting better through the session, but my last lap wasn’t magnificent, which is why I’m not on the front row. The car was good enough to have been up there today, but I didn’t do it. Who knows what is happening tomorrow in the race, the weather is quite unpredictable around here, so we will see.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “Despite the very tricky conditions, it was great for Mark to secure his first Formula One career pole and it puts him in an ideal place to start tomorrow’s race. Sebastian is on a slightly heavier fuel load, he did a very good job and it looked like he just dropped a little bit of time on the last turn. Unfortunately the two Brawns have managed to get ahead of him, so we have two Brawns in a Red Bull sandwich. I also think the McLarens are ominously placed right behind us with their KERS, so it’s going to make a very exciting race tomorrow.”