Sebastian Vettel has said 'in a way' he 'rediscovered' Spa today en-route to his ninth pole of the season.
Vettel, who snatched P1 right at the end of the top-ten shoot-out, when he bettered McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by 0.432 seconds, explained that set-up changes between Q1 and Q2 were what allowed him to take the top spot in his Red Bull RB7. He has warned though that with the weather so changeable anything could yet happen in Sunday's F1 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.
“It was difficult in Q1 and Q2," Vettel recalled, "although at the end of Q3 the circuit was drying very quickly. I didn't feel comfortable at the beginning of qualifying, but for Q2 I think we made a big step forward and I rediscovered Spa in a way!
“In the last session, I used the first two laps of Q3 to get temperature into the tyres and then for the last two I tried to push as hard as I could. I think tomorrow it will be one of those races where anything can happen. I think the best way to get a forecast here is to look up into the sky and see what's happening. It's likely to be dry tomorrow and the balance felt good at the end of Q3 when it was dry. It's a long race tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to it.”
Team-mate Mark Webber meanwhile was also right in the thick of things and he will start third in the sister car.
“It was a close session today; I think I went a bit too hard on the slicks initially in Q3,” Webber conceded. “I felt comfortable, and you never know if the lap you're on is the one before the weather changes. There were sprinklings of rain here and there and as soon as we finished Q3 it began to rain again, so I probably could have built up a bit slower and had a better run into the third and fourth lap. But, that's how it goes and we have had a smooth weekend.
“It's very easy in these conditions to end up out of position and we're in position, it would have been nicer to have been a slightly higher up, but the guys in front did a good job and we're in the hunt tomorrow.”
“A great team result to get pole and third, after a really exciting and difficult qualifying in very changeable Belgian conditions,” summarised team principal, Christian Horner. “It was almost like playing roulette with the weather at different stages and it was crucial to be on the track at the right time on the right tyre. We made the right calls as a team today and the drivers built through each session, getting onto slicks in the last session when ultimately it came down to the last lap.
“It was a phenomenal lap from Sebastian for pole and Mark was right there as well, having been very quick throughout the weekend so far. It's great to be starting in first and third for tomorrow's race, hopefully the conditions will be a bit better than they were today.”