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'Fantastic lap' rewards Vettel

23 March 2013

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel put in a 'fantastic lap' to secure pole position for the F1 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix today - and he said the decision to pit for a second set of intermediates in the third session was definitely the 'right strategy'.

Vettel eventually took P1 in the dying seconds, finishing up more than nine tenths up on Ferrari man Felipe Massa, who will start alongside him on the front row.

Speaking after Q, the German was unsurprisingly pleased with his second pole in a row, especially as conditions at the Sepang International Circuit were far from easy.

“It was very difficult as the circuit was half dry and half wet today – so it was difficult to find the right compromise between pushing hard and also saving the tyres,” he explained. “It was the right strategy to come in and change the tyres and the pace was there. It was a good session in Q3 and it was clear what we had to do, so I'm pleased with the result.

“It's a long race tomorrow, however, and whoever wins will have done the best job. We managed to save some tyres today which will help if the race is dry, but we will see.”

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner meanwhile was impressed with Vettel's pole lap, although he is not convinced it will be the 'deciding factor' in the race.

“A challenging qualifying,” he added. “Sebastian put together a fantastic lap in tricky conditions to get the pole. He elected to do two runs – it was always clear there was only time for one and one (timed laps) or five laps if you ran the whole session.”

“That said, I don't think pole will be the deciding factor of tomorrow's race; if it's wet it helps with visibility, but in the event of a dry race then tyre degradation and tyre strategy will be key,” he continued.


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