The Red Bull Racing F1 Team began the 2011 Formula One season on the same way they ended the 2010 season: with a victory. World Champion Sebastian Vettel was able to finish the Australian Grand Prix in front of Lewis Hamilton and Vitaly Petrov. Mark Webber, who started the race from 3rd position, was the fifth driver to cross the finish line.
Car 1 Sebastian Vettel, Finish Position: WINNER, Start Position: 1st
“I’m very pleased, it was a very good weekend and I had a very nice car to sit in this afternoon. It was a good race – towards the end things calmed down a bit. Lewis didn’t push as hard, so we tried to control the last part of the race. I don’t think it was easy today. The start was crucial and being on the clean side I had a very good getaway. I didn’t know if it was enough, but then I saw Lewis and Mark battling for position. I got a cushion on lap one and we tried to hold the gap for the first stint. When the tyres went off, Lewis caught up and we came in. I think it was the right time, as I couldn’t have done more laps. After my first stop it was crucial to get past Jenson, which I did. That was important. In the second part of the race I didn’t know what was gong on behind Lewis, if he was under pressure or not, but towards the end of the race I could control it more. We learned a lot of things today. It’s good coming here after a long winter and setting the pace.”
Car 2 Mark Webber, Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 3rd
“I wasn't quick today and it was the same in qualifying yesterday, so we need to understand the reason why. There wasn't much else I could do today. I lost the last position to Fernando (Alonso) during the pit stops and that was it really. It was very frustrating. Seb drove a good race, in terms of what the car can do, but it's not normal for me not to go and match the rhythm at the front. I should be able to stay with these guys, but today I finished a long way behind. It was a tough race and I was pushing as hard as I could, but I wasn't getting much back. To finish that far behind is not really usual, but let's stay cool; it’s the first race. I’m looking forward to going to Malaysia; I wish the race was tomorrow already. I was in a different race to Sebastian today, so we had to do different things. I was in trouble with the tyres much sooner than he was, so we need to have a look why.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “It was a fantastic performance by Sebastian today. He’s been dominant all weekend and to turn up and win the first race with a faultless drive was fantastic. It’s testimony to all the hard work that’s gone in over the winter and to have book-ended the two championships by winning the last race in Abu Dhabi and the first race here is a fantastic achievement. We’re also very proud to have won Pirelli’s first race on its return to Formula One. The tyres were as expected in the race, with a combination of two and three stops and, while it was a bit of a voyage of discovery with the new rules, it was fantastic to come here and dominate a race that we’ve historically struggled at. Unfortunately things didn’t work out for Mark at his home grand prix and we need to understand why. We took a slightly different strategic route with him running the harder tyre second, as his degradation seemed to be higher than Sebastian’s. It’s something we need to look into on Mark’s car, as it was an unusual difference between them this weekend that we don’t normally see. I’m sure that will be back to normal for Malaysia.”
Cyril Dumont, Renault: “An excellent race for Sebastian. I think it’s the first time that he’s finished this race and in that position is very good! Regarding Mark, I think he got a solid result, although I am sure he will be disappointed. We’re sure he will come back strongly in Malaysia. For Renault to have two engines on the podium this weekend is a very good result.”