Vettel takes pole as Webber suffers without DRS

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Europe, Valencia Street Circuiteu

Red Bull Racing had a very different qualifying session for both its cars today. Mark Webber struggled and didn't get through to Q2 as a DRS failure cost him too much time. Sebastian Vettel on the other hand had a perfectly balanced and working car that enabled him to secure pole position.

Sebastian Vettel, #1, P1, (3rd Practice – P13, 1:39.434):
“I think it was a great recovery from Q1 and Q2 today, as I didn’t feel entirely happy in those. It had been a good weekend leading up to qualifying, but conditions changed before Q1. However in the end we pulled it altogether. Everyone has worked very hard with preparing new parts for the car, which seem to be a step forward. Bringing new parts is not always straightforward, as we’ve seen. Often people try things on Friday, but then go back to their previous set up for the weekend. However this weekend we seem to have made a step forward, although we will give them a proper try tomorrow. We have been good here in previous years, so hopefully we can keep it up for tomorrow. The guys deserve that, they have worked hard all weekend.”

Mark Webber, #2, P19, (3rd Practice – P19, 1:41.282):
“I had no DRS, which costs about 1.3 second per lap and made it difficult. The car’s put up a big fight today, we only managed to do four laps and three of those were in qualifying. In the first qualifying session we did one lap on the harder tyre and then went out on the soft tyre to try and get through as it was so tight. The lap time actually wasn’t too bad considering we didn’t have DRS, but it doesn’t do anything to help the situation. We have a lot to do tomorrow. We were hoping to fix the DRS for Q2 but we didn’t make the cut; we should be able to fix it for tomorrow.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal:
“After such a tight qualifying, where at stages the top seven cars were covered by less than a tenth of a second, for Sebastian to deliver a final lap that put him four tenths clear was a remarkable effort. It has earned him his 33rd pole, meaning he matches Jim Clark and Alain Prost, which are two extremely illustrious names. It was contrasting fortune for Mark who, after a difficult morning, had a hydraulic issue with the DRS which prevented him from using it. Nonetheless, he came very close to making the jump into Q2 without it. I’m sure he will have an attacking race from there tomorrow – he’s proved before that he can come through the field and we’ve got no doubt he’ll do that tomorrow.”

Cyril Dumont, Renault engine support:
“A mixed feeling today. It was a great pole position from Seb who finished four tenths ahead. For Mark, unfortunately he had some issues this morning which prevented him from running. Then in qualifying he had an issue with his DRS and wasn’t able to use it, which is a big shame. Engine-wise there are some tricky slow speed corners that we have to play with in terms of engine driveability, so there was some work to do during these first two days.”