Horner surprised by Red Bull qualifying performance

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber qualified in 3rd and 8th positions respectively. With Webber not pointing to the car for the lack of speed in Q3, both cars are set for a strong race, which is again expected to be mostly about the tyres.

Sebastian Vettel: “I was pretty happy with the last sector, as historically it’s been a bit weak for me. Now finally, after the last couple of years, I understand the last few corners a little better. I’m quite happy as yesterday and this morning I wasn’t too comfortable, particularly in the last sector, but we improved the car. We had a pretty smooth qualifying session, we took a slightly different approach to some others using option tyres only – whether that helps us tomorrow we‘ll have to wait and see, but it will be an interesting race and a lot will be about tyre degradation. It’s good to start a little bit higher up, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Mark Webber: “Qualifying went well today apart from Q3. I was disappointed with the lap in Q3 and lost a lot of time in the last sector; I’m normally quite strong there, but I was in trouble with the rears. It’s a sensitive game these days and you need to get everything lined up. So, in the end I’m disappointed with the last lap, but everything else I was happy with. It will be an interesting race tomorrow.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal: “A very interesting qualifying. Sebastian put in a phenomenal lap at the end of Q3 to line up third on the grid, which was beyond what we expected after Q1 and Q2. With the two Mercedes ahead of us and Kimi and Fernando behind it makes a fascinating grid for tomorrow’s race. For Mark, having looked competitive in Q1 and Q2, unfortunately his lap in Q3 was just that little bit off and, on such a close grid, the differences are marginal. Hopefully both drivers can have very strong races from their grid positions tomorrow.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault support engineer: “Although we know Barcelona well from winter testing, there are several challenges to setting the engine up here and a number of things we need to stay on top of. There are a variety of corner speeds and some heavy braking zones, and the third sector is a big challenge drivability wise. We’ve worked to make the engine as smooth and driveable as possible to counter these issues and generally everything is working well. Based on tyre wear and grid position we seem to be in good shape for tomorrow’s race, which is again likely to be very exciting.”