Mark Webber was relatively encouraged by his performance in qualifying for the Malaysian GP.
Webber eventually finished the top-ten shoot-out in third, behind his Red Bull Racing team-mate, Sebastian Vettel in P1 and Lewis Hamilton. Despite again having to settle for a place on the second row though, just like he did in Australia two weeks ago, he was a lot happier with his form.
Indeed unlike at Albert Park he was right in contention for pole and his best lap, a 1 minute 35.179 seconds, left him just 0.309 seconds off the top time, a lot closer than it was two weeks ago, when the gap to Vettel was more than eight tenths.
“I knew it would be very tight; everyone was on a single pace after the first flying lap on the option tyre in Q3,” Webber said.
“It was pretty straight forward for us; you have to just drive as quick as you can when it's like that.
“We can't control how tight it is, to get a few tenths more, you have to just do your best. It was a better performance from me today compared to Melbourne and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
“I'm starting on the clean side of the grid and it should be an interesting race – I think there will be a lot of pit stops.”
Renault's Cyril Dumont, who is assigned to the Red Bull Racing team, added: “It was a tough qualifying session, tougher than in Australia I would say. We had to do some set-up work engine-wise in order to improve the car from yesterday, so we're happy it was working well today.
“We have a 1-3 again for the start of tomorrow's race, like last year – although then the drivers were the other way round. Hopefully we'll get the same race result too – with a 1-2 finish.”