2013 Singapore Grand Prix – official qualifying
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P1, 1:44.173)
“It was a strange feeling at the end of Q3. It’s already strange when you stand in the garage with only two minutes left in the session, but much worse when you see the others making their final attempt and there’s nothing you can do! I was watching the sector times closely with Romain, Nico and Mark in particular. Mark started with a purple time in sector one, then Nico went purple in sector two and then Romain, but fortunately my last sector was fast enough to just stay ahead. It’s a great feeling as it could have gone wrong, but I’m very happy with the result. The car has been phenomenal all weekend. Yesterday the gap to the front was a bit of a surprise, but today was a bit more what we expected with the Mercedes being so close.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 4th, (3rd Practice – P4, 1:44.906)
“I’m a bit disappointed to be fourth. It’s quite tight and there were some good lap times being set. It was hard to match Seb in the last sector; he’s always been strong in Turns 20 and 21. We’re on the second row, it would have been better to have been on the front row but it’s a long race tomorrow and we can do something from there as we’ve got a very good race car.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER: “A really impressive performance from Sebastian today. Having been quick in P1 on the prime tyre, fast in Q2 on the softer tyre and setting an incredible first lap that put him 0.6 seconds clear in Q3, we elected to take a strategic approach to tomorrow and not do the second run to save a new set of soft tyres. In the end it was very tight with Nico, but once you’ve made your decision you’re committed. Mark was tremendously quick in Q1 on the harder tyres, which he’s been fast on all weekend. He progressed through Q2 with no issue and in Q3, despite going purple in the first sector, he just missed out on the clean side of the grid. But, nonetheless first and fourth is a great place to start tomorrow’s race.”
(Renault) THIERRY SALVI: “Sebastian took a risk sitting out the last lap, but nevertheless got pole doing only one run in Q3! The car was strong today and has worked particularly well on this city track, which features a lot of low speed corners where drivability and engine response are key. Pole in Singapore is very important on a track where overtaking is difficult.”
From the outside it might seem that all the stress of a race weekend is at the race start, but the truth is that moments of intense pressure strike different team members at different times. Here, Mark’s race engineer, Simon Rennie, explains why, for him, it’s the 120 minutes between final practice and qualifying that are most demanding…
Simon: “It’s the most critical part for us because we’ve got just two hours to use the experience gained from FP3 to work out how to put our best forward in qualifying. We debrief the drivers, work out what we’re going to do with the set-up, talk about the strategy, because obviously race strategy starts in qualifying. When we know what we’re doing all that information is passed on to the mechanics and the guys who look after the tyres.
“By the time we’ve finished debriefing the driver that might use up 35 or 40 minutes so there’s only an hour and a quarter to go and the mechanics need to know what they need to change in good time because they physically have to make those changes before quali. There are a lot of things that require checking and planning and it all happens very, very quickly. You have to prepared and that’s not easy. Normally we end up working to the curfew on Friday, so you have make sure you sleep as much as possible after that. In the morning you have to have a good breakfast. It sounds obvious but there’s not a lot of time to eat between FP3 and quali because there’s so much work to do so you need to be fuelled up well in advance.”
Jill and Brianon September 22, 2013 Reply
It seems the time between final practice and quali is the time Mark always starts with problems with his car – Why? And why does it happen so often?
Georgeon September 22, 2013 Reply
Go for it Mark, a pit stop in the right place tomorrow may put you up there.
psycho budgieon September 22, 2013 Reply
…let it rip mate. 😀