Mark Webber secured pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Team mate Sebastian Vettel was close behind and will start alongside Webber on the front row of the grid, confirming the strength of the Red Bull RB9.
Mark Webber, 1st: “This weekend so far has gone pretty smoothly for us. It’s not the easiest venue, because of the changing temperatures. We run in the afternoon and then at night, so you have to be on top of the changing conditions as a driver and also from an engineering perspective. It wasn’t the most electric start to Q1 or Q2, but we made changes to the car as the session went on and I got more comfortable. I knew I had to work on certain sections of the track which Sebastian had already been doing a good job on, so I had to try and match him as well as continuing to keep the areas where I was doing a good job too, so overall I’m happy with the pole. We’re really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Sebastian Vettel, 2nd: “First of all I think it was a great result for the team. At the start of qualifying I think Mercedes looked very strong with both Nico and Lewis; Mark and myself weren’t hanging about, but they were very quick. In Q3 we seemed to be able to find a little bit of extra time. Mark did a very good lap, so congratulations to him. I should have done a little bit better, but I don’t know if it would have been enough, Mark deserves to be on pole today; it was a good lap with no mistakes. On top of that, it’s a great result for the team and we should have a strong result tomorrow.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal “A really exciting qualifying session that came down to the last run for both cars. Mark produced a fantastic lap to get the pole position, 0.1 seconds ahead of Sebastian for a Red Bull front row, which is the best possible starting position for tomorrow’s grand prix. It’s going to be a fascinating race tomorrow and as usual tyre behaviour is going to be a critical factor.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault engine support: “Again a strong performance from the team today with both drivers locking out the front row. It’s also a great starting position for the eighth – and final – engines of the year, which will hopefully close the V8 era with lots of points in the last three races. We are looking forward to the race tomorrow as even if the Championship is won, we know our drivers will get the maximum from the car. We have been amongst the quickest this weekend, so it would be good to seal it with a strong result tomorrow!”