German Grand Prix 2011: Saturday Qualifying


, Circuit of Nürburgring, Germany

German Grand Prix 2011: Saturday Qualifying

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: POLE POSITION (3rd Practice – P2, 1:31.049)
“The session went pretty well, with the exception of my run in Q2, which wasn’t very smooth. The other sessions were good and the boys did a great job on the car; they’ve had some late nights in the lead up to the event, so they’ve recovered very well. I thought on my in-lap, ‘if someone gets me, they deserve it’, as I don’t think I could have got much more out of it – it was my limit and a pretty good lap. It was very satisfying to see no one got me there at the end, it’s quite an anxious wait for those thirty seconds. I will be in there pushing very hard tomorrow.”

Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: 3rd (3rd Practice – P1, 1:30.916)
“It was tough session. I think we had a good recovery, as yesterday I didn’t really find my way, but the car felt much better this morning. I think we could have been a bit quicker in qualifying here and there, but Mark did a good lap and I think we still have a good chance from third on the grid. It will be a long race and you never know what can happen with the weather here. Rain is forecast, but we don’t know how much we will have and when. However, in the end it doesn’t really matter, the most important thing is that we have a solid race and the target is to win, which is not impossible from third – it’s the clean side of the track and we go from there. I’m looking forward to tomorrow – it doesn’t happen too often that you have so many people coming here and supporting the German drivers, so I will make sure I enjoy the race tomorrow.”


“It was a fantastic performance by Mark, with him building all the way through qualifying to produce a really great lap at the end. It was very, very tight with Lewis, Sebastian and Fernando throughout the three qualifying sessions and it was all going to be down to getting the perfect lap at the end – and Mark produced a phenomenal lap. He obviously likes it round here and has happy memories from his first grand prix victory two year ago. Sebastian lines up in P3 and is on the right side of the grid tomorrow. It was an excellent team performance and first and third, our tenth pole of the year and our thirtieth overall, is a good start to the weekend.”

“I think it was a good result today. Today’s qualifying shows that we have a strong driver pairing and if one makes a small mistake, then the other one is always right there, so it’s very encouraging. It’s the 30th pole position for the Red Bull Racing/Renault partnership and I would like to congratulate everyone that has been working as part of this. I think tomorrow is going to be a long race – hopefully it will be dry, but we may have some changes in the weather, so we will see – I hope not!”

It’s the moment every driver dreams of, crossing the line for a first F1 victory. For Mark Webber that moment came here at the Nürburgring two years ago. He recalls what it was like…

“About halfway through the race it looked like I was going to win the grand prix. The car was very reliable, I was quick enough and could respond to anyone’s pace, so it just came down to reliability and the conditions not changing. After the final pitstop I was still incredibly focused, but it’s amazing how, when you have the margin I had that day, you’re able to think of other things. You sit there and really do think: ‘Wow… at last this is going to happen.” You’re leading, you’ve got there and you absolutely know you’re not going to make a mess of it. But you’re still playing out scenarios in your head – all the Plan Bs and Cs. I did carry a bit more speed through the chicane so just in case the car broke I had enough pace to roll across the finish line! When I did finally cross it, the feeling was just one of relief. It’s not the race, the venue is not that important – it’s your career. It’s the occasion of doing something you haven’t done before, something that a lot of people haven’t done. When I got out of the car the biggest thing I was looking forward to was the national anthem. It’s always been my responsibility to get that anthem played at a grand prix and when I heard it, it was pretty emotional. In the races that follow, your composure is completely different. You do change the way you drive a grand prix from the front, because you’ve done it. It was uncharted waters before, but now you’ve mapped them and you drive thinking, ‘Yup, been here before, no problem, I know how to manage this’. It’s like it’s the final piece of the jigsaw has been slotted into place.”

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