Red Bull press release
Car 1 Sebastian Vettel, Position: POLE POSITION (3rd Practice - P1, 1:24.824)
"It was an interesting qualifying session; a new circuit and a new challenge - obviously I'm very happy to be on the front row. I don't know if being on the left or the right side of the track (we are on the left), is really an advantage or not; there's not one side that seems to be the clean side, as we tend to run down the middle. It was a good battle and after the first run it was very close, so I knew I had to do a little bit better on the second. We decided to only do one timed lap each time, it was still a bit slippery, but overall I'm very happy. Tomorrow it going to be a long race, we start starting the best possible position, so we'll see what happens."
Car 2 Mark Webber, Position: 3rd (2nd on grid), (3rd Practice - P3, 1:25.203)
"This new venue has been a good challenge for us. It was tricky to work out the right strategy for qualifying. The tyres weren't easy for one timed lap, so we had to work out how to do the right strategy - lots of teams tried different styles to get the best lap time out of the car. The first sector was tricky to get right on one timed lap. I could have done better in the first sector on my first lap in Q3; I couldn't complete my second, as there were yellow flags after Massa's incident. Overall it's a good job for the team, we've come to a new venue, prepared well and we've laid a good foundation for a very good race tomorrow."
"A great qualifying for the team to have established our 16th pole and a new record for the most poles secured by a team within a season. Also to have achieved a front row lock out after Lewis' penalty of yesterday has put us in the best position to start tomorrow's race. The dilemma was whether to do one or two laps, but in the end Sebastian managed to make two laps which were effectively good enough for pole.
Mark running two laps on his first set of tyres in Q3 was the right strategy, so first and second on the grid is a great place to be starting the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at a circuit that has been a real challenge for the drivers and is a really exciting venue." (Renault) CYRIL DUMONT: "A wonderful pole position again for Sebastian at this first Indian Grand Prix; I'm pleased for him. I think we had the pace today to lock out the front row - but anyway, we will start first and second on the grid tomorrow. That's the best place to start the race - we've clearly got the pace on low and high fuel, so it could be interesting tomorrow."
THE FIRST TIME I… CAME TO THE INDIAN GRAND PRIX (BAL SIRA)
Being of Indian origin, Bal Sira, number two mechanic on Sebastian's car, thought he knew what to expect in Delhi, but what he found out took him by surprise.
A new track is a bit of an unknown. You have no idea of the size of the garage or what the garage facilities are going to be like. We have no idea how the circuit will behave or what the pit lane is like. It's difficult to get a working garage up and running - a garage that works at a new venue efficiently. But once you do figure it out then it's pretty comfortable. So, from a work point of view, India's been pretty much the same as any new venue. You get here, figure out the lay of the land and get on with it.
From a personal point of view, though, it really has been quite different. My heritage is Indian, but this is my first ever visit to the country and it has been a surprising one. Some aspects are very similar to the family life I know from the UK - like the language and the way people behave towards each other. For example, we visited a Sikh temple. Being the home of the Sikh religion I thought the ones here might be much more formal and a lot stricter than the ones I know from England but it was just the same, incredibly friendly and very welcoming. It has great being here during Diwali as well. It's something we celebrate at home with family but travelling around the world as we do, I've missed loads of them, so to be here in India for the festival has just been fantastic. By far the biggest surprise, however, has been the language.
At home I only speak the language with my grandmother. She speaks perfectly good English, but out of pure stubbornness will only speak Hindi, Punjabi and Swahili. However, I don't see her very often and the guys I work with don't speak those languages so I had no idea I could speak it. But apparently I do, and pretty well! When you're surrounded by people who only speak a certain language, you're forced to think fast and reply. And it's only then that you realise that it's been there all the time. I've been able to help the team out a few times with ordering food and so on; I've been speaking to all sorts of people!