Formula 1 News

Australian GP - Qualifying Conference Report

Pole sitters: Vettel (1st), Webber (2nd) and Hamilton (3rd), share their views with the press about the session.
Sunday, March 17, 2013

Melbourne, 17th, 2013 (F1plus/J. Polychornis).- Sebastian Vettel was first to speak to the media at the press conference held immediately after qualifying. Vettel claimed pole position in Sunday morning’s rescheduled qualifying session, fending off his home-town counterpart, Mark Webber. The German posted a time of 1:27:407 on the drying yet cool track surface, 0.4 seconds better than his team mate.

When asked if the acquisition of pole-position was the best possible start to the season, Vettel responded:

“Obviously it has been a very good weekend for us. Obviously we came out of the winter testing anddidn’t know what to expect. Since Friday, we got into the groove and I had a good feeling with the car. – But obviously the main task is coming this afternoon.”

Webber seemed delighted with his second place finish, all smiles upon entering the press conference room. Webber claimed his equal best grid position on the Sunday morning, a result he was pleased with:

“I think it was a great job from the team. [It was] very tricky in those conditions and also very easy to make errors on any side: Driver, procedurally, planning, all sorts of stuff. – In the end it was a good qualy (qualification session) and this afternoon we are now in a good position.”

Webber reminded everyone that no awards are handed out at the end of qualifying, and insisted there was a large portion of the job ahead.

“I think 5% of the job is done and we know that the big stuff is this afternoon.”

Lewis Hamilton was delighted with his 3rd place result after completing his first qualification session with Mercedes GP.

“It is [a great satisfaction]. It is incredible. What an incredible job the team have done to come from last year where they were struggling quite a lot to have a [competitive] car. Now I really feel we have a car that we can really work on, a real good foundation to build upon through the year.

As was expected, Hamilton was subject to questioning from the floor in regards to the lacklustre performance of both McLaren vehicles. Jenson Button and Sergio Perez had disappointing results of 10th and 15th respectively. When Hamilton was asked to provide his thoughts on Button’s 10th place qualification, the Mercedes driver said:

“I think our position and how the car is behaving and how I feel in the team just confirms to me that I feel like I made a good choice. I never looked back once I made the choice and I didn’t have any regrets about it.”

The rescheduled qualifying session was an inconvenience to drivers, forcing them to approach the Sunday in a different manner. Webber addressed the situation to an f1plus.com correspondent:

“Well we’ve been in the situation a few times, but not many. – All-in-all, you’ve just got to take the moments as they are and deal with what’s thrown at you.

Last night you re-group, let’s say very quickly, but know you’ve got a big day today. Coming here a lot earlier than normal for a race weekend, things have to be shuffled around a lot in terms of procedure in the garage, also, driver preparation.It’s really just like a Friday but it counts; so, short runs in the morning and long runs in the afternoon.”

The Australian Grand Prix begins at 17:00 local time.

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