Mark Webber says he is confident of a strong showing on race day after taking his second pole of the F1 season in Abu Dhabi.
The Red Bull
man produced a fine lap in Q3 to beat team-mate Sebastian Vettel
to the fastest time, moving him level with Sir Jack Brabham in terms of pole positions by an Australian driver with 13.
Webber was the only man to break the 1min 40secs in the session and he will now hope to challenge for victory having missed out on the chance to fight for top spot in the race last weekend in India.
“This weekend has gone pretty smoothly for us so far,” he said. “It's not the easiest venue we race at because of the changing temperatures. We run in the afternoon and then at night, so you have to be on top of the changing conditions as a driver and also from an engineering perspective.
“It wasn't the most electric start to Q1 or Q2, but we made changes to the car as the session went on and I got more comfortable behind the wheel. I knew I had to work on certain sections of the track where Sebastian had already been doing a good job and I had to try and match him while also continuing to stay strong in the areas where I was doing a good job already. Overall I'm happy with the pole. We're really looking forward to the race.
“In recent races we have qualified well and have shown strong pace in the races, so hopefully we can carry it over into tomorrow and chase a strong result.”
Team boss Christian Horner was full of praise for Webber and said he was pleased to again see his two drivers lock out the opening row of the grid.
“A really exciting qualifying session that came down to the last run for both cars,” he said. “Mark produced a fantastic lap to get the pole position, 0.1 seconds ahead of Sebastian for a Red Bull
front row, which is the best possible starting position for tomorrow's grand prix. It's going to be a fascinating race tomorrow and as usual tyre behavior is going to be a critical factor.”