Red Bull Racing had a strong qualifying session today during which they focused on saving tyres for tomorrow's difficult race with respect to the tyres. Sebastian Vettel will start from second on the grid while Mark Webber qualified 5th but a penalty demoted him to 7th.
Sebastian Vettel, 2nd: “I’m not disappointed with that. Well done to Nico, it was a strong lap and it was all his today. When I crossed the line I saw I was second on the screen and didn’t know how much I was missing to pole as the lap was fine. When I got told the gap to P1, it was clear that even with a perfect lap he was unbeatable today, but nevertheless I’m very happy. We managed to save some tyres throughout qualifying and it will be about tyre degradation tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens. It’s good to start from the front.”
Mark Webber, 5th, start from 7th due to penalty from Chinese GP: “I would have like to have got a bit more out of the car in that session and been a bit further up, but seventh with a penalty isn’t the end of the world. We have a different tyre strategy to some of the others and it’s a long grand prix, so let’s see how we go. I’m proud to be starting my 200th grand prix tomorrow. When I was a youngster arriving in Formula One, I never thought I would be in the sport for so long. I have had some incredible highs and some tough lows, but that’s top line sport. I have learned a huge amount during that time, about myself and life in general, and the drive is still very strong for the sport; I still enjoy it a lot. It’s another number, but it would be good to get a good result to mark it.”
Christian Horner, Team principal: “That was a very tightly contested qualifying session. We stuck to a plan we formulated before qualifying, using one set of the soft tyres in each of the sessions. Sebastian did a super job to qualify on the front row alongside Nico Rosberg. Mark, despite his three place penalty, will line up in seventh place and with the way you can overtake at this track he’ll be able to make progress from there. So, a very solid qualifying and one we can hopefully build on in the race tomorrow. Well done to Nico for getting pole today.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 support engineer: “Bahrain presents some unique challenges for the engine, with very hot ambient temperatures and low humidity. This can be tricky for the cooling systems and is something we need to monitor closely to ensure it doesn’t become a problem. Equally the lack of running here throughout the year makes the track conditions very slippery, so we tweak the engine maps to give improved grip. All in all it’s a positive result today and gives us a lot of options on strategy tomorrow.”