Turkish Grand Prix 2011: Saturday Qualifying


,Istanbul Park Circuit, Turkey

Turkish Grand Prix 2011: Saturday Qualifying

Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION (3rd Practice P1, 1:26.037)
Im very happy. It was a bit funny in Q3 today, as both Mark and I decided we would skip the second run and so we finished earlier than normal. It was a strange feeling, as the other cars are on track setting times and you are in the garage watching they might beat you, but you can only watch the screens and theres nothing you can do. It was an odd feeling but a good decision to save tyres for tomorrows race. I messed up the car yesterday morning, so we missed the session in the afternoon, but the guys fixed it for today and I think they did a very good job. We have been up there with the times today, although we didnt have a trouble free morning and we had a bit to catch up. I like the track here which helps and it was nice to see that, without many laps, I was able to come back and find the rhythm, so all-in-all Im very happy today.

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 2nd (3rd Practice P3, 1:26.404)

I would have liked to have got a couple more tenths to have the margin; obviously Sebastian did a very good lap for pole, but my lap wasnt too bad. We spoke before qualifying and decided that, as tomorrow is going to be a long race, every lap you could save today might help tomorrow. It turns out that were in the best possible grid positions and the team did a good job, as we have saved a set of tyres too, so its looking good. There were some good decisions from the team. Im happy with today and am looking forward to tomorrows race.

A great team performance today and a fantastic come back from Sebastian after a challenging day yesterday. All the guys worked very hard to make sure the car was ready for this morning and Sebastian repaid them in the best possible way with an excellent lap on his first run to get the pole. Mark was right up there too and we have secured the front row of the grid. We elected not to do a second run with both drivers; we knew it would be a little tight, but strategically we believe it was the right thing to do, as both drivers now have a new set of tyres available for tomorrows race.


A really good result today its nice to lock out the front row again. It was a good performance from Sebastian, and even more so when you consider his lack of running yesterday. Mark also did a good job today, so we look forward to the race tomorrow. It was pretty smooth for the engines today so we will see in the race.

Its a season of firsts this year: the first time Red Bull Racing will defend two world titles and the first time India will appear on the calendar. The Turkish Grand Prix is memorable for Sebastian, as it was the first time he drove a car during a GP weekend, however it was a year after his first F1 test drive.

The first time I ever drove an F1 car was about a year before my first GP appearance; it was in Jerez in September 2005. I got a call from Mario Theissen, who was working with Williams- BMW. At first I thought it was a joke, but he said no, it was serious and he wanted me to go to Williams for a seat-fitting. I just focused on getting as fit as I could, so as not to look stupid. When I got to Jerez, I was so nervous. The guys were all there and they were looking at me like what does this kid want here? I must have been about 18. After five laps I came back to the pits and tried to play it cool oh yeah, Im completely on top of this but I was completely lost. I said to myself: OK, I am so proud to have tested a real F1 car, but this is a mans world, this is not for me. I was completely overwhelmed. Afterwards I was dead! I tried to not let anybody see, but my neck was gone completely. I have to say though, on the outside, I remember I was quite calm; Ive seen the footage too and it seems that way. It was a lot to take in but I did really enjoy myself and nothing has changed.

My first Grand Prix weekend came in Turkey 2006. I remember I had been in Greece on holiday. It took ages to get there and after two days I got another call from Mario, who was by then head of the Sauber F1 team. He said: Weve decided to put you in the car in Turkey, and we will do the seat-fit the day after tomorrow. I said OK, packed my stuff and then drove all the way back to Switzerland to the Sauber factory and thats how I got into Formula One as a test driver.

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