, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi


Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION (3rd Practice – P2, 1:39.403)
“I’m pretty pleased. Yesterday I wasn’t very happy with my own performance and with the car and I didn’t feel that comfortable. Today was much better straightaway when we went out this afternoon, but this evening when the sun went down, I had a much better feeling and the car was more together. It came in my direction and helped us. McLaren looked strong throughout the weekend, but I thought if I get everything right then in Q3 then we might have a chance (for the pole) and that’s the way it came for us. I’m very pleased with the pole and it’s a very special one to equal Nigel Mansell as well. It’s a fantastic year and it’s not over yet, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 4th, (3rd Practice – P3, 1:39.427)
“I’m disappointed with my last run, it was a bit scrappy. We had to communicate more than normal during the out lap due to a few things we were managing, so that affected the prep a little. I’m disappointed as there is certainly more there. Sometimes you see Seb’s lap and you go, ‘wow you can’t do that’, he did a good lap for sure today, but I didn’t feel like I got the most out of it when it counted. It will be an interesting first sector, then we’ll get into the race from there. I think this track is traditionally pretty hard to pass on, so it’s likely to be down to the DRS zone and pit stops.”

“An unbelievable final lap from Sebastian, to get the pole in what was a really exciting final qualifying tonight. It’s a remarkable achievement for him to equal Nigel Mansell’s 14 poles in a single season, which by coincidence also happened to be achieved in an Adrian Newey designed car back in 1992, with a Renault engine. It was a tremendous achievement for Sebastian. In such a tight qualifying session, it all came down to the final run and Mark in P4 was only two tenths off the front row; it demonstrates just how tight it is this weekend. I’m sure we’re set for a really exciting race tomorrow.”


“I think again today we had an incredible Vettel. This year is simply his year and today he has equalled Mansell’s record for the number of poles gained in one season. He also equalled Fangio, in terms of number of poles gained in his career, so it’s his year. It will be interesting tomorrow, Mark is not far away from the front either and we have some good memories from this track, so it will be interesting tomorrow to see where we finish.”


A lot has changed in Formula One over the years. Karl Schuchnig, who conducts tours for Red Bull Racing, has been working in the sport for 41 years. Here he tells us about what’s changed:

“My first race was the 1970 Austrian Grand Prix. I was chief polisher for McLaren. I was 16 and still at school and got to know the team by accident. My uncle owned a VW garage and at that time teams often went from one track to the next. McLaren had come direct to Austria from Hockenheim and rented part of my uncle’s garage ahead of the race. With three McLaren’s in there, of course I went everyday. I was local so they asked me questions like ‘where can we get this and that?’ When they moved to the circuit 3km away, they asked if I would go along and help. There were no real garages then, cars were parked together under a canopy next to the track and prepared on stands. There were two mechanics per car and that was it. When practice started we had to push the cars, along with all the tools, tyres, fuel and everything we needed, around the pit wall to get to the front of the pits, so it was a lot of work. A team consisted of three cars, with two mechanics per car, although the spare only had one. The truck driver was responsible for the spares, there was a chief mechanic, a designer, a team principal and that was it. There was no catering, except sausage rolls! That was the standard meal I remember. Ha ha lots of sausage rolls. There was no marketing and there were hardly any guests as I recall. Looking at circuits now, so much has changed, but the main thing is safety. I remember in Austria there were hardly any guard rails; there were gravel beds and arnco in the fast corners, but no tyre walls, so if someone went off they went into the rail. I also remember photographers standing right next to the track, so if a car had gone off it wouldn’t have been great. Cars had aluminium chassis then, so if they crashed, they would bend and that was it. It’s fantastic to see how safety has improved and it’s incredible how far the sport has come compared to those early days. It’s a fascinating, great sport and I love it now as much as I did on that first race.”

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