Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel believes team-mate Mark Webber 'deserved' to take pole position for the 2013 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as the Aussie put in a 'good lap with no mistakes'.
Vettel had been the favourite to take P1 after setting the pace in practice at the Yas Marina Circuit, and initially he laid down the marker in the top-ten shootout too. However, while he improved slightly on his second run, a mistake into Turn 1 proved costly, although the German wasn't sure if that was decisive, even if the gap to Webber was only 0.118 seconds.
“First of all I think it was a great result for the team [to lock out the front-row],” said Vettel, who has now qualified on the front row for every single race since the German GP back in July.
“At the start of qualifying I think Mercedes looked very strong with both Nico [Rosberg] and Lewis [Hamilton]; Mark and myself weren't hanging about, but they were very quick.
“In Q3 we seemed to be able to find a little bit of extra time. Mark did a very good lap, so congratulations to him. I should have done a little bit better, but I don't know if it would have been enough, Mark deserves to be on pole today; it was a good lap with no mistakes.
“On top of that, it's a great result for the team [too] and we should have a strong result now tomorrow,” he added.
Quizzed on why he made that error into Turn 1, Vettel replied: "I was pushing hard, that's the reason behind it. Surely, I think, as a driver, you always argue that there is a little bit here, a little bit there but the bottom line is that if you look at it from the outside as well, if you push yourself to the maximum trying to get everything out then you do mistakes as well. I'm not very proud of that but I did what I could today and it wasn't enough to be on pole and that's why I said it before and I'll say it again – Mark deserved to be on pole, no doubt.
"So, I think the car was good. That's why I apologised, I said, 'sorry guys, I messed up a bit at turn one'. It's a tricky corner. If you get it right, it feels great. It you mess it up, it doesn't and then you have a long lap trying to make up for it. But obviously there is a limit.
"Overall, as I said, I was happy but didn't manage to get everything perfect. Whether it would have been enough, I don't know, Mark did a very good laps, so we'll see tomorrow."