Mark Webber took his maiden pole of the season while Sebastian Vettel will start from second on the grid. The Australian pole sitter however called his achievement somewhat hollow as Vettel's car issues made it an unequal fight.
Mark Webber, 1st: “It’s a great track and we always enjoy driving here. The laps weren’t too bad today to be honest, but you always want a little bit more here and there. Sebastian had a problem in qualifying, so it’s a little bit of a hollow pole position if you like; he still did a phenomenal lap. But, I’m happy to be on pole; you have to grab the opportunities when you can and still get the laps in. It’s a very, very nice farewell for me to have pole position on my last attempt here at Suzuka. It’s a great circuit and I’ll never forget the first sector today, it’s what us guys strive for and it’s what our profession is all about; driving that is a real highlight for us.”
Sebastian Vettel, 2nd: “First of all congratulations to Mark, I think he did a very good lap. We had an issue in qualifying, but I’m not a big fan of thinking that without this, with this, if this, you know… it’s always unknown and we’re P2. I’m happy with the result, a front row for the team is great. The car was phenomenal today, especially in the first sector. You realise afterwards that the car was really fantastic through there and you don’t get many days when the car feels that great and you can really push it to the limit. I enjoyed qualifying today and I’m happy with second place”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “It’s great to have secured front row for tomorrow’s race. It was a very strong performance by Mark today to claim his first pole of the year and Sebastian, despite the failure of KERS on his car, produced a great lap also to get onto the front row for tomorrow’s race. We need to understand the issue with his car, as it’s the second session we had a KERS problem. Hopefully we can convert these very strong grid positions into a good points haul tomorrow.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault engines support lead: “Seb had a KERS issue in qualifying, which he had to try and manage throughout the lap. I let you imagine the job he had to do during those timed laps, but at the end he did not have the benefit of any KERS boost. It was a brilliant effort by both drivers to lock out the front row. It takes the Renault total to 209 poles and a new record for engine manufacturers – something we can be very proud of. But equally important is the advantage it gives us for tomorrow.”