Sebastian Vettel is not taking anything for granted as he gears up for the F1 2011 Malaysian GP.
Vettel once again secured pole position yesterday in his Red Bull RB7, although it wasn't until the dying moments that he snatched P1 from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, ending the session just one tenth quicker. The German was pleased to secure a place on the clean side of the grid, but knows with rain a possibility, the race is anything but a foregone conclusion. He also added that the McLaren's are definitely a lot closer to the pace this weekend than they were two weeks ago in Australia.
“When you go to qualifying, you put your trousers down and you see what you have got [there is no sandbagging]. I am very pleased that we made it [and got pole]. It is very important here to be on the clean side, especially as they changed sides but we will see [what happens in the race],” Vettel said.
“There are so many things still to come. It is a long race tomorrow and when we wake up tomorrow, today is history, and it is a new day, a new chance.
“Obviously, if you start from pole you cannot really improve, but first you have to get the job done. I'm surprised it has not rained yet but we know here that it is very likely to rain, so things can happen and you cannot take anything for granted.”
Indeed Vettel is acutely aware that there will definitely be far more pit stops in the race than there was in Melbourne.
“We learned quite a lot in Australia [about the tyres]. [But] we came here and we saw that the tyres don't last nearly as long or not even as close to how long they lasted in Australia. It is different here. It is a different track, different conditions. It is much hotter, so it is tougher for them,” he explained.
“I think we had an idea on Friday [though what will happen in the race]. I think we were pretty happy with it, so we will see what we can do. It will be quite a different race.
“I expect more stops definitely than Australia, so we will see how many. I am just hoping that all the spectators don't lose the count, so we try to keep it up and hope people outside are as well.”