, MONZA, Italy
Infiniti and Red Bull Racing: Italian Grand Prix Qualifying
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Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:23.170)
”We are surprised how competitive we are here and thought it would be much closer. We weren’t sure if the tyres were best for the first or second lap, but I made a bit of a mistake on the second. For the second run, I knew I had a bit more time in the car as I did the first lap on my own. For the second, I had one or two cars in front, which always helps here. That said, we would never have thought we could have got pole here, on this track which didn’t suit our car for the last two years. This year, the car is very good and I’m very happy. Apart from the wing level, the most important thing to have here is balance and we’re good on that this year. I felt very comfortable going into qualifying and throughout the session I could feel the track getting quicker. I simply went with the track and that is the secret, if there is any.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 5th, (3rd Practice – P2, 1:23.534)
“I think I made it a little bit difficult for the team today in terms of my run plan, I wasn’t completely clear, so it wasn’t the best Q3. The tyres were certainly strong enough for the first lap, so two runs was the way forward I think, but ultimately I didn’t get enough out of the car on the tyres on one run only. We were managing the KERS too, as we had some issues on the last lap, which is never ideal but in the end we got fifth position. We know it can be an interesting first lap here, so I’m going to push as hard as I can. I have a good car for the race; so we’ll see how we go.”
“To achieve pole position in Monza is unbelievable and completely unexpected. It was a phenomenal last lap from Sebastian to achieve pole with an almost staggering margin. Mark elected to adopt a different strategy for Q3 and maybe, with 20/20 hindsight, two runs would have been preferable. However, he retains a new set of tyres for the race tomorrow and we hope to have a very good race day. It’s testimony to all the hard work that’s gone into this Monza package at a track that’s been notoriously tough for us and it’s a perfect start to the weekend.”
(Renault) CYRIL DUMONT:
“A pole in Monza is a wonderful result for Renault and Red Bull. The pace is really encouraging on this track, especially for Seb. Mark had some issues with KERS during qualifying, but I think he could have been P2 or P3. No doubt he’s got a good set up for tomorrow and he’ll be in the fight. We weren’t expecting to be so quick on this track so it’s a great start. “
Sebastian Vettel scored his maiden F1 win here in 2008 with Toro Rosso. It was seven races later until Red Bull Racing enjoyed victory with him. For Seb’s front-end mechanic, Ole, it was a special moment…
THE FIRST TIME I… WORKED ON A WINNING F1 CAR (OLE SCHACK)
It was at the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix. It all started with qualifying, which was extremely hectic. We realised after the first run that we had a reliability issue with Seb’s car, which limited the number of laps we could do. All Seb could see in his mirrors, was a load of mechanics huddled round the back of the car, but he was as calm as could be; there was no change in him. He knew that we could only do one run in each session and he just nodded and said: ‘yep, okay no problem’. When he went out on those runs all I wanted was not to hear any radio communication, as that meant everything was fine. The radio stayed silent and we kept watching the times. When you only have one chance, the pressure is really on.
We were just stunned at what he was doing out there. With two minutes to go in Q3 he was in 10th place and hadn’t done a lap, but then he totally delivered. To go out and move from the bottom of the timesheet to the top was just incredible. He did it in Q2 and Q3 – bang; I don’t think there was ever any thought in his mind to do a safe run and put it sixth or whatever. When Sebastian feels the car is good he wants to get the maximum out of it and we’ll deal with the issues later. The spirit in the garage was great. Sometimes the cheer for qualifying is bigger than for a race win, as it’s so intense; you’re waiting for that last second when the flag falls. The whole garage absolutely erupted. I remember that I was clapping so hard that the little pin in my watch that holds on the strap, actually popped out! After the race, it was such a fantastic feeling. It was the first time I’d seen the car I work on win the top championship in motorsport and it was a very special and emotional feeling standing up in front of that podium. It had been a wet race and a mistake is so easy, but there were none and to have Mark, who drove a great race, coming home to make it a one-two, you couldn’t ask for more. We ran up to that podium at such speed, I’ve never seen guys move so fast. It was definitely one of the things that will stay in my mind forever. I’ve still got the photos from Autosport that show all of us on that day. It was a fantastic experience and something I will always remember.