, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
Singapore Grand Prix 2011: Qualifying
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Position: POLE POSITION
(3rd Practice – P3, 1:46.345)
“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 all in 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.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER
(3rd Practice – P1, 1:46.081)
“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.”
“A fantastic team performance. To secure an all front row is phenomenal and it’s our best qualifying performance in Singapore. It was a tricky qualifying session, navigating the traffic early on and needing to get clean laps. It came down to Q3 and Sebastian produced a phenomenal first lap which was good enough for pole. On the second run he made a small mistake at Turn 10 and aborted the lap to save the tyres, which puts him in great shape for tomorrow. Mark made a big step on the last run – it was a good effort from him at a track which he has not been totally comfortable at all weekend, so a great performance by him and a great effort by the team to have locked out the front row.”
(Renault) CYRIL DUMONT:
“It was difficult to do a better result than this today. I think from the beginning of the weekend Sebastian’s pace was pretty good and he did a really solid qualifying session. Mark did a great first sector, which allowed him to come back and lock out the front row, so it’s a good way to start tomorrow’s race. We will see tomorrow – many things can happen, there are lots of corners and the weather can change, so it can be quite difficult – but I’m happy with this start to the weekend.”
Imagine standing still while a car comes towards you at 100kph. Not many would dub that ‘fantastic’, but Chris Gent does, as here he remembers the first time.
THE FIRST TIME I… WORKED THE FRONT JACK AT A GRAND PRIX (CHRIS GENT)
The first race I was on the front jack was Australia 2008. Before joining Red Bull Racing I was at Super Aguri where I did right-front wheel on, but when I came here it was do that, or the front jack. I don’t know why, but I chose to do the jack. I did get practice with it at a test in Barcelona before the start of the season. That was actually quite relaxed, you’re able to get the rhythm of it at a test and I quite liked it. You could see the whole pit stop happening, the car coming towards you, the speed of it. It’s difficult to explain, but I really don’t mind that at all. At that first race in Melbourne, I don’t think I had any nerves. When the adrenaline is rushing, you just get on with it. You have no fear.
In those days you had to get the jack quite central as there were straights and things on wings that you had to miss or else you might have damaged it, but beyond that it was straightforward. You watch for the hands coming up and make sure the boys have done everything they need and you’re away. It did feel like there was a bit more responsibility involved. The danger is that you drop it too early when one of the wheels isn’t finished. Now we have to be more careful as we have quick release jacks, so if you release the car you can’t pick it back up straight away. In Australia, at that first race, it was slower than it is now. It’s a fantastic feeling. I’m not sure what it is exactly… everyone’s out to the side of you and you’re staring straight down the pitlane as the car comes towards you; you almost get this tunnel vision and it’s all you can see.