Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel proved his Friday accident was no concern today in qualifying for the F1 2011 Turkish Grand Prix and the German calmly took pole position to maintain the form that has seen him start every race so far this season from P1.
Vettel, who missed all of FP2 on Friday after his off in the first session, bounced back immediately this morning and was fastest in final practice. He then dominated qualifying, eventually beating his team-mate, Mark Webber to top spot by just over four tenths of a second.
It was another super lap from the 23-year-old, and all the more impressive as he and Webber only did one run in Q3 in order to save a new set of tyres for tomorrow's race, the first European event of the year.
“I'm very happy. It was a bit funny in Q3 today, as both Mark and I decided we would skip the second run and so we finished earlier than normal,” Vettel reflected. “It was a strange feeling, as the other cars are on track setting times and you are in the garage watching – they might beat you, but you can only watch the screens and there's nothing you can do. It was an odd feeling but a good decision to save tyres for tomorrow's race.
“I messed up the car yesterday morning, so we missed the session in the afternoon, but the guys fixed it for today and I think they did a very good job.
“We have been up there with the times today, although we didn't have a trouble free morning and we had a bit to catch up. I like the track here though which helps and it was nice to see that, without many laps, I was able to come back and find the rhythm, so all-in-all I'm very happy.”
Red Bull Racing team boss, Christian Horner meanwhile was impressed with how Vettel put his Friday accident behind him.
“That was a fantastic come back from Sebastian after a challenging day yesterday,” Horner confirmed. “All the guys worked very hard to make sure the car was ready for this morning and Sebastian repaid them in the best possible way – with an excellent lap on his first run to get the pole. Mark was right up there too [in the sister car] and we have secured the front row of the grid.”
“A really good result today – it's nice to lock out the front row again,” added Renault's track support engineer at RBR, Cyril Dumont. “It was a very good performance from Sebastian, and even more so when you consider his lack of running yesterday.”