Formula 1 – Red Bull Racing Lock Out Front Row In Singapore

September 25, 2011

Formula 1

Red Bull Racing‘s Sebastien Vettel is poised to celebrate back to back Formula 1 Championships after yet another dominant qualifying performance sealed pole position for the 2011 Singapore Grand Prix.

His teammate Mark Webber will start alongside him in P2, with McLaren Mercedes Jenson Button edging out Lewis Hamilton to start 3rd. Lewis just held off the Ferrari’s to qualify 4th. Alonso & Massa qualified 5th & 6th respectively.

Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

“On the last run, I maybe tried a bit too much going into the really tricky chicane around Turn 10. I think I could have made it, but I decided to abort the lap, as it can be so easy to damage the car. I was happy with my first lap – I think the track ramped up a little bit by the end, so it was possible to go faster, but allin all it was a perfect session and I’m very happy, especially around here. It’s a very fun track and a big challenge. It’s difficult with so many corners and it’s a long lap to get everything together, but we kept our heads cool and did it today. It’s great we have both cars on the front row, but let’s see tomorrow, it’s a very, very long race.”

Mark Webber

“I’m pretty happy with that. It’s been a pretty testing venue for me in the past, particularly on Saturdays, although racing I normally go a bit better around here. Seb laid it down pretty hard and fast for all of us today – he’s very quick round here and he did a great job for the pole. It’s pretty rare he makes a mistake. He was very quick for the whole lap and to put it all together for all of us is very challenging here – it’s easy to make up a bit, but then lose it on the next straight. Overall I’m satisfied and given the curveballs that teams can face around here to have both cars up there is a great result for us.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button

“We did a lot of work overnight, so the car is now working very well and we should be pretty happy with what we’ve achieved so far this weekend. Qualifying was a bit tricky in terms of getting the car to work in all three sectors. We’re putting a lot of heat into the tyres – so if we push hard in the first sector, we lose rear-end grip by the third sector. It’s difficult trying to find that balance, but I think we got reasonably close to it this evening. It’s only a short run down to Turn One, but I’d still like to be at least second into the first corner, so as to be able to challenge Seb [Vettel] from early on. Lining up third also means I’ll be starting from the clean side of the grid. Tomorrow will be all about looking after the rear tyres: it’s a long race – the longest of the season – so it’s going to be hard and hot. A lot could happen tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Lewis Hamilton

“I had a pretty eventful time in all three qualifying sessions: in Q1, I damaged part of the floor on the kerbs and the mechanics did an absolutely fantastic job to get it fixed and the car turned around for the next session. So I want to say a big ‘thanks’ to the guys for pulling out all the stops. I’m still not entirely sure how I picked up the puncture at the end of Q2. I went over a kerb at Turn 10 and the tyre sensors detected a sudden loss of pressure. There are quite a few bolts hanging out of the kerbs, so I guess it could have been one of those, but we don’t really know. At the end of Q3, we had an issue with the refuelling process – we couldn’t get enough fuel into the car quick enough. In the end, we just ran out of time, so I couldn’t fit in my final run. But that’s racing, and sometimes these things happen. Fortunately, my first Q3 run had been very good. I reckon there was still a bit more time to come – I lost some time behind Fernando [Alonso], when I got within a second of his car in the final sector of the lap – so if I’d managed to get another run in Q3 I’d have probably been able to make up some time there. But, all in all, fourth place isn’t too bad – and, as I say, the most encouraging thing is that we’ve still got more pace up our sleeve. So, yes, I think the front row could have been possible. There’s only a short run down to Turn One tomorrow, which means it’ll be hard to overtake in the initial run down to the first braking point, so I think the race is going to be less about the start and more about looking after the tyres.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso

“I am pleased with this qualifying, because I think that might have been my best Q3 lap of the whole year. I gave it 120%, taking risks in some corners, but that was the only way I could hope to fight for the top places. If I’d driven a normal lap, I would have finished in the same position, but half a second off the two McLarens, rather than less than a tenth. Sure, if I was in front of Hamilton and Button, then it would be a completely different story, but that’s how it turned out and there’s no point saying we were unlucky. I am convinced that a podium finish is within our reach. Usually, we go better in the race than in qualifying and there is no reason why that should not be the case here. We will try and make up some places at the start, even if, at this track, there is not much of a run from the start line to the first corner. Then we will try and make the most of our strategy and any eventual tyre degradation levels lower than that of some our opponents. This is a very hard race for the mechanical parts of the car and the Safety Car is usually involved: we will see what happens, but, I say it again, I am confident in our chances of getting to the podium.”

Felipe Massa

“Sixth is definitely not the result we were aiming for, but we have to accept it. Now we must think about the race which definitely does not look like being an easy one: tyre degradation is significant, both on the Soft and the Supersoft and will have to be able to adapt to that as best we can. I think that, as never before, getting the strategy right will be the key to having a good race. We are definitely more competitive here than we were in Monza. Today, it was not easy putting together a perfect lap and, even if the car was much improved compared to the last free practice session, I still had a lot of oversteer, especially when the rear tyres were overheating in the second and third sectors. The incident with Hamilton? Honestly, I don’t understand why he wanted to pass at all costs: we were all in a line on our “out” lap and there was nothing to be gained from acting like that.”

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Nico Rosberg

“I had a good fast lap in Q3 and we were able to take the most out of the car today so I’m quite satisfied. Starting in seventh place was the maximum that we could have achieved, although Massa was very close so it was definitely worth trying to catch him. Being on the clean side at the grid gives me a good position for the start, so I will try to make up positions there and score some good points. I think it will be an exciting race here with all the new things like DRS and the Pirelli tyres.”

Michael Schumacher

“It was quite a tactical qualifying session, in which we chose not to run in Q3 to save new tyres for the race. In theory, this should be worth some time over the race distance, so it was a calculated risk worth taking. As we all know from the past, a lot of incidents can happen during the Singapore Grand Prix, so I will certainly go for any opportunity which might occur. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed for Sebastian to clinch his second world title here tomorrow.”

Lotus Renault GP

Bruno Senna

“Today was a good effort by the team but unfortunately it was not enough. We made a good step forwards with the car this morning but it was not sufficient to get into Q3. I pushed very hard and made one mistake going over a kerb that made my rear tyres suffer a lot on the last seven corners – these kerbs are really something we need to steer clear of! All in all, I can be 90% satisfied with my lap, as it would have been hard to take much more out of the car – maybe another position or two, but not more. My 15th position is near where we deserve to be. I’m now looking forward to the race, which is going to be long and tiring. The worst thing here is the humidity. It’s all sweat, sweat, sweat – you never cool down. Looking ahead, we took a step forwards in terms of tyre conservation, while the break wear does not seem to be a problem for us. It should be an interesting race tomorrow.”

Vitaly Petrov

“It is always a challenge to drive in Singapore and we knew that the R31 would not necessarily be suited to the track’s characteristics. We tried our best to cure our balance problems during the last free practice session but we have struggled with a lack traction all weekend. It’s something that has a particularly big impact in Singapore and, going into qualifying, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle to qualify in the top 10. I pushed hard but made a mistake on my last fast lap in Q2 and lost four or five tenths. All was then over. It will be important to conserve our tyres tomorrow, so at least I have the option of what I’ll use for the start. The race is going to be physically very tough with 61 hot, sweaty laps – it will test the drivers to the very limit but I’m ready for it.”

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello

“There are two ways of looking at that result. You can never be happy with 12

th, but we pulled a good lap together and we should be satisfied by that. This is a great circuit, one I enjoy very much, but it’s quite tricky. The kerbs are a problem, as we saw with Kobayashi’s incident, so you have to be careful. There was also a lot of traffic out there so I tried going out early to get some clear air. You can extend the capabilities of yourself and your car here so I am pleased with what we’ve done so far.”

Pastor Maldonado

“It was hard to get the tyres up to temperature today, especially the options, and that cost me time. At the end of Q2, we could have done with some more temperature in the front tyres but it was ok. I did a strong lap to get P13 and I am looking forward to a good race tomorrow and getting into the points.”

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil

“We can be pretty happy with today’s result. Going into qualifying we felt we had the pace to make the top ten, but that being higher than ninth and tenth would be difficult to achieve. So once we made Q3 we felt we had got the maximum from the car and that it would be a better decision to save our tyres. We kept an eye on what Mercedes were doing, but stayed in the garage in the end. I think the advantage of saving a set of tyres is worth it because it’s a tough race for tyres and we have more options with the strategy. For tomorrow, anything could happen in the race but our clear goal is to finally get both cars in the points.”

Paul Di Resta

“Considering the difficult day I had yesterday, it feels pretty good to be starting in P10 for my first Singapore Grand Prix. We knew yesterday that the car had good performance here and I think we got as much as we could from that session. That’s why we stayed in the garage during Q3 because it gives us a free tyre choice for tomorrow on fresh rubber. In terms of tyres I’ve got to rely a bit on the data from Adrian’s car because I didn’t get a chance to do any high fuel runs yesterday. This morning I didn’t feel quite so comfortable on the supersofts but felt happier on the soft tyre. For the race we’ll be aiming to take the fight to the cars ahead of us, but we also need to keep an eye on the guys behind because all the midfield cars have shown strong race pace recently.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez

“Overall I am pleased with our qualifying performance today, although it is a shame not to have made it into Q3, as it was very close. My lap in Q2 wasn’t really perfect, the one in Q1 was actually better, as I felt more traction then. Nevertheless I’m very confident for tomorrow, as we normally have a strong race pace. The circuit is very technical and a driver can easily make a mistake, or with a good performance make a difference. I strongly believe I will finish in the points tomorrow.”

Kamui Kobayashi

“I ended up in the wall in Q2 and the accident was my fault. I feel very sorry for the team. I took too much kerb in turn 10, the car jumped too high and this was the outcome. I saw a chance to fight for Q3, but it didn’t work out. I was taken to the medical centre and was quite surprised at how carefully they checked me. However, physically I’m absolutely fine. I will do my utmost tomorrow to fight for points and give something back to the team.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi

“In the end, I am happy with my performance as I feel I managed good laps in both Q1 and Q2. It’s true we always lack a bit of pace in qualifying, but we have seen recently that does not rule out our chances of having a good race. So I hope that will be the case tomorrow, also taking into account we managed to save a set of new Supersoft tyres. It will be an extremely long and tough night and it will be important to maintain concentration from start to finish. If we can do that, there is every reason to think we can deliver a good result.”

Jaime Alguersuari

“This afternoon, I did what I could and tried my best, but while yesterday I was happy with the car, that was not the case today and I struggled a lot with the set-up, the main problem being a lack of grip. Therefore I feel what I achieved was the maximum I could do, with the car as it was. Tomorrow everything can change in what is usually the longest race of the year in very tough conditions for the cars and drivers.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen

“I’m pretty pleased with that. I got held up on my second run but still managed to get within a second of the car ahead and I think I got close to getting the most out of the car I could. We definitely improved in FP3 and the wear rates weren’t too bad so I think we’re in good shape for tomorrow. It’s a long race, and one where the safety car will probably play a role in how it all ends up, so the aim for Sunday is clear – make sure we get both cars home to the end and put ourselves in a position to take advantage of what happens ahead.”

Jarno Trulli

“Honestly I’ve struggled with the car all day and even though I managed to get much closer to Heikki in qualifying I’m still not all that happy with where we are. The guys in the garage have been working really hard all weekend to fix one or two problems we’ve had, and I want to thank them for getting the car to the point where I could get that quick laptime out of it, but now it’s about getting to the end of the race tomorrow in one piece.”

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Vitantonio Liuzzi

“We knew beforehand that it would be a difficult track for our us since our car doesn’t suit it very well but, overall, it wasn’t too bad. What we did was to work on the balance and the traction to understand the car better. However, we still need to figure out why we lost a lot of pace in the third sector where we lost a lot of grip in the rear end with the new set of tyres. But we should be proud because we could’ve beaten our closest competitors if everything went fine. For me qualifying wasn’t the most important thing after the penalty from Monza so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race which will be very tough but I’m confident that we can battle with our nearest rivals after today’s evidence.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“It was quite a tough session because the plan was just to do one lap so we had two sets of tyres and had to do what we could on one lap alone so there was no room for mistakes. I think it went well although with the second set I was expecting to improve a little bit more but I was probably overdriving as well. I touched the wall on the second last corner but it proves I was trying to get everything I could out of it. I’m happy to see the gap much closer to the nearest rivals but it is a bit disappointing not to be in front after getting so close. Nevertheless, it is a good step from yesterday. The main thing tonight is to eat, drink and sleep well in order to be in peak condition for the demands of tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be a long race and I’m pretty excited as it is going to be a real test for me.”

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock

“A difficult weekend so far, starting from the first outing. I haven’t been completely happy with the rear of the car and we didn’t manage to get it right yet, so qualifying was not perfect. I made a small mistake at the hairpin at Turn 13 but beyond that I think we had the most from the car. I love this race so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Singapore can throw up all sorts of things so we just need to be ready.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“I’m a bit disappointed with today’s qualifying really. The car is quite good but we just had an issue with the brake balance – it was much more rearwards somehow on my first run, so we had to change this for the second one. It still wasn’t perfect and that made me lose a bit of confidence, especially here because you have only one lap – one chance. As always we will go into the race tomorrow looking to maximise what we have and to get both cars home in the best position possible

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