October 5th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel was in confident mood after qualifying in Korea, and for good reason. He's on pole for Sunday's race and has the fastest car in the field. Victory in the race is not quite just a matter of reliability, but Vettel is certainly best placed of the drivers in the field to compete for the win tomorrow.
Vettel spoke to the Infiniti Red Bull racing website after qualiyfing, and said, “It was close today. I had a very good lap in Q3 on my first attempt and thought I would find it hard to do better. On my second attempt I caught Kimi on the warm-up lap and didn’t have time to drop back, but fortunately the first lap was good enough.
“Mercedes was strong and seem to be comfortable in the middle sector,” he added. “We’re good in sector one this year, which is a surprise as that’s mostly straights. We improved the car from yesterday as I wasn’t entirely happy with it after the second practice. In terms of conditions, we should be okay if it’s dry or wet tomorrow. It’s not clear if we get some rain from the typhoon, but let’s see what happens.”
Mark Webber in the second Red Bull faces the much more challenging prospect of starting from 13th on the grid tomorrow. Webber qualified third but has a 10-place grid penatly for receiving three reprimands this season. After qualifying, Webber confirmed that Red Bull sacrificed some qualifying pace in his car in favour of giving him a car that can overtake effectively in tomorrow's race. Nonetheless, he managed to set the third fastest time in qualifying, an impressive performance under the circumstances.
Webber said after qualifying, "We had to take a bit of pace out of the car for qualifying, not much, but it was about how we would compromise between qualifying and the race tomorrow.
“I’m pretty happy, I could be two positions further up but that would mean, with the penalty, I would be 11th rather than 13th. It was a pretty tight qualifying with the two Mercedes, Seb [Vettel] and myself. Tomorrow’s race will be interesting, I will be out of position, but we’ll fight and come back through. I think we improved the car in some areas from yesterday.”
Vettel cannot wrap up the title this weekend, but if he wins this race and the next two, he will be World Champion by the end of the Indian Grand Prix weekend.