Formula One News » Webber gets pole number 13 in Abu Dhabi Posted on 02/11/2013
Webber, who had been second to Red Bull team-mate, Sebastian Vettel in practice on Friday and in FP3 this morning, edged out the German with a late 1 minute 39.957 second lap. The Aussie was the only one to break the 1m 40s barrier and will be praying for a good start now on Sunday at the Yas Marina Circuit in order to fully capitalise on his efforts.
â€śThis weekend so far has gone pretty smoothly for us. Itâ€™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 wasnâ€™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,â€ť said Webber, who had only been eighth in Q1 and third in Q2.
â€śI 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 Iâ€™m happy with the pole. Weâ€™re now really looking forward to the race tomorrow.â€ť
Vettel, who ended up 0.118 seconds slower and who will now line-up in P2, lost out on his final lap in the top-ten shootout when he made an error into T1. The German, however, conceded, he didnâ€™t know how much of a difference that had made.
â€śFirst of all I think it was a great result for the team,â€ť Vettel said. â€śAt the start of qualifying I think Mercedes looked very strong with both Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton]; Mark and myself werenâ€™t hanging about, but they were very quick. In Q3 we seemed to be able to find a little bit of extra time.
â€śMark did a very good lap, so congratulations to him. I should have done a little bit better, but I donâ€™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, itâ€™s a great result for the team and we should have a strong result tomorrow.â€ť
Nico Rosberg meanwhile came in third for Mercedes and just ahead of team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, who spun out on his final lap in Q3. It was later confirmed that a wishbone failure was to blame.
â€śFourth place feels pretty good this evening considering the time was set on my first Q3 lap,â€ť Hamilton said. â€śUnfortunately on my second lap it looks like something gave way at the back of the car as I got on the power at the chicane and it just snapped out, which forced me into a spin.
â€śIt was a great lap and might just have been enough to get us onto the front row as I was fourth-tenths up on my first effort but these things happen. The car felt really strong today so we’ll hope for a good start and then challenge to make up some positions in the race tomorrow.â€ť
Behind, Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth, just 0.041 seconds off Hamilton and only 0.034 seconds up on the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg in sixth. However, the Finnâ€™s Lotus failed post-qualifying checks â€“ specifically a front floor deflection test â€“ and he was excluded and will now start at the back.
Further back, Romain Grosjean was seventh in Q3, ahead of Felipe Massaâ€™s Ferrari and the McLaren of Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top-ten, having only just made it through Q1 early on.
Fernando Alonso was the big scalp in Q2, just edged out by his Ferrari team-mate â€“ the fifth time in the last six races the Spaniard has been slower than Massa. He finished up in P11 on the times.
â€śThis qualifying has been as difficult as the rest of the weekend, even if in some races, starting eleventh on new tyres can help, so letâ€™s hope thatâ€™s the case here,â€ť said Alonso. â€śIt is without a doubt better to make it through to Q3 but unfortunately I didnâ€™t manage to get a very clean lap and I didnâ€™t manage to make it by a few tenths.
â€śThis is one of the tracks where we suffer a bit more than usual, but in general our Sunday performance is better and so, again this time, our approach to the race is positive.
â€śWe must absolutely get a good start, stay focussed and run a perfect race if we want to take points towards our aim of finishing second in the Constructorsâ€™, because it will be a tough fight. We have seen that in the heat, the Softs work better than the Mediums and so logic dictates we should start on the softer tyre while itâ€™s still daytime and switch to Mediums when darkness falls. Clearly, we have to see how things goâ€ť.
Further back, Force Indiaâ€™s Paul di Resta and McLaren man Jenson Button also went out in Q2, and were only twelfth and thirteenth quickest, while Toro Rossoâ€™s Jean-Eric Vergne and Williams duo Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas were 14th, 15th and 16th respectively.
Of the rest, Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil were the big name exits in Q1, ahead of Caterhamâ€™s Giedo van der Garde and Marussiaâ€™s Jules Bianchi and their respective team-mates, Charles Pic and Max Chilton. Bianchi will drop back, however, due to a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change â€“ required after his crash in final practice earlier in the day. As such he will join Raikkonen at the tail of the field for tomorrowâ€™s grand prix, the 17th round in the 2013 F1 World Championship.