Formual 1

Vettel in Oz  pole 2013


Reigning Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel took the pole position for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, in a race race-day qualifying session Sunday.

Vettel qualified in a time of 1 minute, 27.407 seconds around the Albert Park circuit, and was joined in an all-Red Bull front row by Mark Webber, who was four-tenths of a second back.

Lewis Hamilton qualified third in his first race for Mercedes, ahead of the Ferrari pair of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.

The second and third sessions of qualifying were postponed to Sunday after a series of rain delays and the onset of darkness prevented them being held Saturday.

SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION! (3rd Practice – P12, 1:29.808)
“Obviously I was very happy with the result, but with the adjusted schedule we can’t be too euphoric right now – in a few hours the race is coming up, so it’s head down again to get on with that. Obviously it’s a very good result for myself and the team and with Mark in second we have a front row – it’s a surprise after not knowing where we were in winter testing.”

MARK WEBBER, Position: 2nd, (3rd Practice – P13, 1:30.073)
“I think with such intense conditions like yesterday and today, it’s always easy to make a meal of it, but we didn’t. It was slippery yesterday and we came back again today for a very short explosive session; it’s all over in a flash. We needed to get things right, I would have liked two laps but we finished up the grid at the right end. The weather can change very quickly here, so it’s always hard to make a call.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “A fantastic way to start the season with a front row lock out. Both drivers delivered fantastic laps on their one and only lap on slick tyres. It’s the best possible starting place with Sebastian on pole and Mark alongside him for the first race of the season. We’ve only got a few hours until the start of the race, so it’s going to be a very busy afternoon for the mechanics.”
(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “It was quite a tough qualifying session for the first race of the year with the time change. Regarding engine usage we are of course okay with it being the first event. There were no particular issues, Seb and Mark were happy with the engine behaviour and we don’t have any issues with temperatures. You can see with the weather that we have to work a lot on the drivability to make sure the drivers are happy.

Formula 1

2013 Australian Grand Prix - Saturday


The Melbourne skies offered up their famed four seasons in one day to interrupt and delay qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. An eventful day at Albert Park saw Romain Grosjean top the times in FP3, then set the third fastest lap in Q1 before the remainder of qualifying was postponed. Kimi Räikkönen went fifth fastest in FP3 and eleventh quickest in the Q1 session. Qualifying will resume at Albert Park with the Q2 session, starting at 11:00 local time (01:00 CET).

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03.
FP3: P5, 1:27.625.
Q: (Q1) P11, 1:45.545.

“It wasn’t easy with the traffic, people going off and the yellow flags but we went through to the second qualifying session tomorrow so it’s not all bad. The car doesn’t feel too bad in the wet – it’s an improvement on where we were last year for sure – but today the challenge was finding some clear space on track. The session being delayed until tomorrow was a shame but it’s the same for everyone.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-01.
FP3: P1, 1:26.929.
Q: (Q1) P3, 1:44.284.

“The day started pretty well; it’s the first time I’ve topped an official practice session and I have to say a big thank you to the team for their hard work since yesterday. We took a different direction with the setup and it’s clear we made the right decision. It’s frustrating to delay the rest of qualifying, but there were some good things for us to take from Q1. It’s no secret that wet conditions did not favour our car last year, but from what we saw today there have definitely been some improvements. I’m sorry for the fans as they have been fantastic all week and stuck around despite the weather. We have a big day tomorrow and it looks like staying dry, so hopefully we can put on a good show for them.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It’s been fun today.”

How did the team fare in the limited dry running today?
The changes we made to Romain’s car allied to the revised aerodynamic package clearly made a difference which was highlighted by him setting the session’s fastest time before the rain started. He was very happy with the improvement and is as content with his car as Kimi is with his. It’s been fun today reacting to the different weather conditions.

How about in the rain?
We’re in good shape. We’ve made some improvements to our wet setup following lessons learnt in pre-season testing which have certainly worked. It’s a shame that we can’t finish qualifying today, but it’s absolutely the correct decision; it was too wet.

What are the particular considerations for running qualifying and the race in one day?
It doesn’t change things too much if everything goes well in qualifying, but if there is a lot of work to do on the car between qualifying and the race then it’s going to be a busy day.

What are your thoughts in terms of strategy for tomorrow?
In terms of the weather it looks like tomorrow should be dry, in which case the supersoft is the faster qualifying tyre. That means the top ten starting on the supersoft and working to maximise its potential at the start of the race on high fuel and a newly washed track surface. The medium compound will be the preferred race tyre.

Are we feeling optimistic heading into the race?
We’ve looked good come both wet and dry so far so there’s no reason to think otherwise.