, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Jeolla, South Korea
Infiniti and Red Bull Racing: Korean Grand Prix Qualifying
QUALIFYING Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: 2nd, (3rd Practice – P9, 1:39.695)
“McLaren looked very competitive yesterday; I know the conditions were completely different, but you could see they were a fair chunk ahead of everyone else, including us. They looked extremely quick this morning in the dry also, but I think once again we pushed them very hard in qualifying and got closer than I think they, and we, expected. So, I think we did a good job. We also saved all our soft tyres, which I think will be crucial for tomorrow. We only had a rough idea from this morning with more fuel in the car, but I think we are in a good position. There’s not a long run to the first corner and Turn 3 is a little bit exposed, so we’ll see. It’s a long race, a lot of things can happen and I think tyre wear will be crucial.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 4th, (3rd Practice – P3, 1:37.723)
“On the last run, I lost the rear a little bit on the exit of Turn 1. I tried to get it back through Turn 3, but I was down 3/10 of a second; it’s a pity as you’re not going to get that back in the last sector – which hadn’t been too bad on the previous run. So, we’re fourth tomorrow to start. It’s a shame that Jenson got me in the end there, as it bumped me onto the left hand side of the grid, but we’ll see how we go tomorrow in the race. Tyres are going to be interesting tomorrow, as there were different strategies in qualifying. We’re closer to the McLarens than we thought and it was a well fought contest between the four of us.”
“Well, for the first time since Brazil last year we didn’t make the pole position today, but it was a very exciting qualifying session and Sebastian produced a stunning lap to split the two McLarens and be on the front row. Mark backed that up with fourth. We elected to take a different approach to others with our tyre usage in qualifying, which has saved us three sets of the soft tyre for tomorrow’s race, should that come into play. It’s going to be a fascinating race with strategy and pit-work and hopefully we can take the fight to the McLaren’s.”
(Renault) CYRIL DUMONT:
“So, I’m a bit disappointed and would of course have preferred to have continued grabbing pole positions and not end our impressive sequence of sixteen pole positions, but with the lack of running we had yesterday, it was pretty difficult to get a nice programme this morning. Overall, I think we should be happy with P2 and P4 to start the race tomorrow.”
Head of Trackside Electronics Gill Jones is the woman who keeps the sparks flying at Red Bull Racing. Here she recalls being put in at the deep end in China….
THE FIRST TIME I… RAN TRACKSIDE ELECTRONICS FOR RED BULL RACING (GILL JONES)
I’m responsible for all the electronic items in the garage and on the car, which means everything from the steering wheel, the in-car wiring, the sensors, to the onboard computer, all of it. And in the background, there’s also the data acquisition, which means the telemetry system, as well as the radio and intercom systems. Plus, we look after the wiring in the garage and the KERS package, so pretty much anything with a wire on it, we look after. I started out with Jaguar Racing having done an electronics engineering degree. I then went to Toyota and worked on Olivier Panis’s car and then to Honda to work on Takuma Sato’s car. It was after that I came back to Milton Keynes and Red Bull Racing to look after the electronics at races and tests. My first race looking after that was the 2005 Chinese GP, which was the final race of the season. I went to shadow the guy who was doing it, but I also did the specific car support engineer role for that race to get familiar with everything. It wasn’t a total baptism of fire but it was still pretty tough, as the systems the team had were totally different to what I was used to; it was a pretty steep learning curve and I was thrown into it pretty quickly. They literally sat me down and said ‘right, you’re running the car this weekend, get on with it’! I started the job the day I flew out to China. I didn’t have any time in the factory or anything – straight into it. I was working on Christian Klien’s car and did the support engineer’s role. I think he had his best finish of the season; he finished fifth and scored four points. You’d then think that having the whole winter to get settled would be great, but that was year we went from Cosworth to Ferrari, so it was a massive change. That winter was incredibly busy as all the systems changed and you have start again almost from scratch. Most people think that electronics are just there, that it just happens but we design, build, test and inspect all of these systems almost completely in- house. It’s a massive job. My first race in charge of the whole thing would have been the first race of the 2006 season – Bahrain, I think. It must have gone smoothly because I can’t really remember that much about it!