Sebastian Vettel joked that he had 'gained revenge' on team-mate Mark Webber for securing pole for last season's German Grand Prix after beating the home hero to top spot in qualifying at Albert Park.
The Red Bull man secured pole with his first lap of Q3 – becoming the first man to lap below the 1min 24secs this weekend – despite a somewhat ragged lap, making it two pole positions from two having previously set the pace in qualifying in Bahrain.
Having lost out on a possible victory in Bahrain due to a spark plug issue, Vettel will now hope to take Red Bull to victory for the first time this year and he admitted it could be vital to have secured pole given the possibility of incidents during the early stages of the race.
“First of all it is a great result for both of us and for the team,” he said. “It's Mark's home race, so it is a little bit funny remembering last year from Germany, so kind of revenge but it is a long race tomorrow!
“But coming back to qualifying, I think we did a good step into qualifying with the car, improving it, and the final session was all about 'does it start to rain or not.' Everyone went out. We waited a little bit and the first lap was the quickest and just spot on everywhere until I reached the last three corners. I would say turn 14, the fast right hander, I was still on the edge and okay but after that I think I lost a little bit, especially the last corner onto the main straight. It was a very good lap up to that point. I was very happy. I think the result says it all, so looking forward to tomorrow.
“It is quite good to start at the front. We don't know how messy it might get tomorrow, safety car, no safety car. There is always a lot happening in Albert Park but it is good to be on pole. The clean side as well, so I am very happy.”
Vettel has yet to see the chequered flag in Australia, but added that his focus now was to finish in the same position he starts.
“I think the main thing is to finish,” he said. “See the chequered flag this time. Last year we were close, only a couple of laps. But today was qualifying. Similar to Bahrain, Saturday is completely different to Sunday. Now we have a rough idea what is happening on Sunday, meaning that everyone of us will jump into the car with a lot of fuel in the car and it will be totally different. I think it will be even more bumpy and more difficult to control.
“It is a very long race. You need to focus on your own race, keeping the car on the track and at the same time managing your tyres plus trying to keep the car always on the limit. On top of that Albert Park is well known for any kind of happenings. I remember two years back only seven cars finished, so safety car, accidents, could be quite messy, so the main thing is to have a tidy race and bring the car home. Starting first that's where you want to finish as well.”