12 October 2013
Japanese Grand Prix: Vettel praises Webber pole position
Sebastian Vettel has praised team mate Mark Webber's performance in Suzuka in qualifying for the Japanese GP, which saw the Australian pip him to pole position for the first time in 2013.
Sebastian Vettel was quick to praise and congratulate his long-time Red Bull team mate Mark Webber for clinching pole position at Suzuka on Saturday, and refused to blame his own KERS malfunction for missing out.
"First of all congratulations to Mark, I think he did a very good lap," said Vettel. "We did have an issue in qualifying, but I don't think that hurt us when trying to find a rhythm," he added.
"I'm not a big fan of 'without this,' 'with this,' 'if this,' etc.," he continued. "It's always unknown and the fact is that we are P2.
"I kept it on the track, obviously tried hard, and on the first attempt a little too hard, but on the second attempt I managed to stay on track," he recalled. "On the first attempt I lost time all down the straight [after Spoon] and on the second attempt I was a little more conservative but gained on the straight, so it was a net gain. We were all pushing on the limit today and with the wind it was quite tricky, with some gusts here and there. In the end we were pushing and mistakes happen."
"I'm happy with the result, a front row for the team is great," he added. "The car was phenomenal today, especially in the first sector. You realise afterwards that the car was really fantastic through there and you don't get many days when the car feels that great and you can really push it to the limit. I enjoyed qualifying today and I'm happy with second place."
If he wins tomorrow, Vettel could claim his fourth consecutive F1 world championship at Suzuka, assuming that Fernando Alonso finished no better than ninth position.
But for Mark Webber - heading into his final five Grand Prix races before retiring from the championship and heading instead to sports cars in 2014 - his first pole position of the season coming at one of his favourite tracks was a wonderful way to mark his final F1 appearance at Suzuka.
"It's a very, very nice farewell for me to have pole position on my last attempt here at Suzuka," said Webber. "It's a great circuit and I'll never forget the first sector today, it's what us guys strive for and it's what our profession is all about; driving that is a real highlight for us.
"It's a great track and we always enjoy driving here. The laps weren't too bad today to be honest, but you always want a little bit more here and there.," he added. "I'm happy to be on pole; you have to grab the opportunities when you can and still get the laps in."
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