While Sebastian Vettel narrowly missed out on pole position, Mark Webber was left struggling once again with several car issues that prevented him to secure a front end starting grid spot.
Sebastian Vettel, 2nd: “There wasn’t much missing in that session, so Lewis did a good job. I put a strong lap in and had two sets of new tyres; I was pretty happy with both laps, maybe on the second I was losing out a bit in the middle sector and perhaps I wasn’t aggressive enough, but it’s no help to sit here now and say we should have done this or that. At the end of the day my lap wasn’t quick enough. Mercedes have a very strong qualifying pace. Lewis did an exceptional job today, also if you look at the gap to Nico, you have to be fair and respect that. I would have loved to have been a little bit faster and be on pole, but it still puts us in a great place for tomorrow. We have a good car and good race pace. It’s a shame Mark had a problem with the gears and KERS today, so he wasn’t able to challenge for the front, but still we should have a good race tomorrow and I’m quite confident.”
Mark Webber, 10th: “That was a massively disappointing qualifying session. Obviously we had a lot of issues with the car and we left a lot of lap time in the garage, with items which weren’t working on the car at their optimum. We had no KERS, and a basic gearbox setting that we couldn’t get out of, which cost a lot of lap time. Driving the car so far off its potential is unbelievable and so massively frustrating. It's stupid, it's embarrassing and it's a brutal circuit to be out of position.
"I was happy with how I drove, but it doesn’t count in qualifying when you need everything at the absolute limit. Instead of challenging for the front row, we were challenging for the last row of Q3. We’re out of position with a car that is capable of much more, but I didn’t have the car today to challenge for the results I thought we could get. A pain in the arse. It's amazing, all the effort you go to and it's two weekends on the bounce where you get that.”
Christian Horner, Team principal: “To miss out on the pole by half a tenth of a second, demonstrates how close the grid is here. Sebastian looked competitive throughout qualifying and it’s positive to be starting on the front row of the grid at a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake at. Unfortunately, Mark’s car had two issues, one with the gear shift and also with KERS, which was probably costing him up to 0.8 of a second per lap. He did a very impressive job to get into Q3, but at that stage, with a car that was not able to run at its full potential, we had to take a strategic approach to tomorrow’s race. We therefore elected not to run in Q3, so he has a freedom of choice and fresh tyres for tomorrow’s race. It’s going to be interesting tomorrow and strategy is going to be crucial.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault engine support leader: “The hot weather here brings some difficult conditions, especially for the cooling of the car. Nevertheless Sebastian did a great performance to put his car in second position on the grid. We were not too far from pole and the pace we had during the practice sessions gives us good hope for tomorrow. We are quite disappointed for Mark and his 10th position, but he had some KERS issues from Q1 onwards. We will do our best to help him to recover and score the maximum points possible.”