Saturday 21 May 2011 QUALIFYING
Car 2 MARK WEBBER,
Position: POLE POSITION (3rd Practice – P2 1:21.791)
“It was a good session. It was clear going into qualifying that we might have had a bit of a margin and would be battling for pole between ourselves today.
You can never underestimate these guys though. We got through Q1 on the first set of hard tyres, which was good, and then in the crucial part of qualifying – in Q3 – it was just about getting the lap right. The lap was pretty good and I was just praying that my number went to the top when I crossed the line. It was a nice lap, a good battle with Seb and today was my day.”
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
Position: 2nd (3rd Practice – P1, 1:21.707)
“We can’t speak of disappointment, at the end of the day we made a good step forward. Barcelona is the place where everyone brings a lot of new parts and you’re here to find out if they all work. I think we made a step, so did the others, but it looks as though we like this track and our cars feel comfortable here. Looking to qualifying, I didn’t get into the rhythm immediately, so it was not the smoothest run, but I made it on the primes. In Q2 I felt much happier on the soft compound tyres, but unfortunately in the last qualifying I lost a little bit too much and I wasn’t entirely happy with my lap.
Mark did a good lap and a better job today. Let’s see tomorrow, it’s a long race and we saved a set of tyres. I think we will be on top of KERS for the race, the guys are pushing hard and we have proved our car has become quicker, so big compliments to the aero guys in the factory and everyone here. We are working hard on KERS. I didn’t have it in Q2 or Q3 today, but I‘m sure we will have it tomorrow for the race.”
“A great team performance – it’s great for Mark to get his first pole position of the year after a perfect final run in Q3. Sebastian did phenomenal job to join Mark on the front row without the benefit of KERS.
The pair had a big margin to our opposition in qualifying, although we know it will be smaller in the race. It was a fantastic team performance, we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
CYRIL DUMONT (Renault)
“A really good result – our second front row of the season, which is really good for the team. I feel a bit sorry for Seb because we deprived him of running this morning, due to an electrical failure on the engine; fortunately we could fix it for qualifying. It was difficult for Sebastian to catch Mark today – also with the KERS issue he had during qualifying. It’s a good qualifying result and hopefully we will transform it into some good points tomorrow.”
THE FIRST TIME I… ENGINEERED A CAR IN AN F1 RACE (CIARON PILBEAM)
The 2010 Spanish Grand Prix was a winning occasion for race engineer Ciaron Pilbeam, who helped steer Mark to victory. Here Ciaron recalls his first day in the job as a race engineer.
“The first time was Silverstone 2005, when I working at BAR Honda. On race morning, I took my motorbike to the circuit, while the other engineers shared a car. I sat at the track for more than an hour wondering where they all were and then found out they’d been in an accident. Their car had been hit by another coming the other way, which was driven by a drunk driver.
Two of the guys made it to the circuit, but the other two spent the day at the hospital with concussion, cuts and bruises. One of those was the race engineer on Takuma Sato’s car and I had to step into the role. I had been working as a performance engineer, so it was a bit of a baptism of fire. I had run the car at testing and had been working with that driver for a while, so I was kind of ready, but it was pretty unexpected and I was in at the deep end. Being handed the job on race day was both easier and harder than doing a whole weekend – Friday and Saturday are a bit more involved, but Sunday has a lot more pressure.
Unfortunately, the race didn’t go that well. We got round, but it wasn’t a good result. Procedurally we did well enough, but the performance just wasn’t there. I’ll never forget it though. I felt under pressure, but never out of my depth. I think there was an element, afterwards, of thinking ‘Okay, I could do that’. Quite soon after, I did step up to that role. I did a couple of races with BAR Honda in that job and moved to Red Bull Racing as a fullblown race engineer. The first race I did here was with Christian Klien in 2006, and we scored points.
He finished eighth in Bahrain and drove a really good race. It was a bit different operationally – there were new qualifying rules that year – but I had done the whole winter testing with the team and working with Christian, so I was better prepared this time. I was still under pressure, a bit nervous, but excited. I’m the same today to be honest; it’s always a massive thrill for me. Always will be.”