Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P2, 1:33.401)
“It feels great and I completely owe this one to the team. It wasn’t an easy start to the season for us and there was a lot of expectation, but I think more than anything it was about what we expected from ourselves and we didn’t match it. We’ve been working extremely hard on the car, trimming here and there and finding the right way to go forward. The boys haven’t had much sleep the last few races – it was a tough race last weekend in China and now here, so it’s good to put the car on pole for them. The car felt better all weekend, it wasn’t the smoothest qualifying session, I nearly went out in Q1, but it’s good to get the pole.”
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 3rd, (3rd Practice – P3, 1:33.663)
“The car has been working better here. The first part of qualifying wasn’t easy and we both had to go again in Q1. It was a pretty decent session for me and my best qualifying performance at this circuit. Seb did a good lap for pole and we’re satisfied to both be at the front. The team has worked very hard and been very focused. We haven’t been too strong on Saturdays until now, but we have on Sunday. We can have a good race from there tomorrow; tyre strategy will be very, very important – a lot of drivers, including us, have used a lot of tyres already in qualifying.”
“A great team performance today and pretty unexpected to get pole and third on the grid here. It’s testimony to all the hard work that’s going on here trackside and back in the factory to deliver that kind of performance during what was a really exciting and tight qualifying session. Sebastian was nearly knocked out in Q1 and Q2 and then put it on pole in Q3, which shows how tight it was and Mark was there all the way through. Hopefully we can have a strong race tomorrow.”
(Renault) CYRIL DUMONT:
“It’s a good feeling to be at the top of the game after a few races where we were struggled a bit more, especially with our qualifying pace. The team is pushing hard to recover and understand the tyres more and it’s starting to pay off. I’m happy for the team and everyone who is working so hard. To start first and third is the best position for tomorrow on the clean side of the track, so I hope that we will have the usual, good race pace to convert our qualifying from today.”
PEOPLE TALK: A Formula One team is all about the people, but away from the racing what makes our team members tick? This race, we speak to Support Team Manager Tony Burrows…
What exactly does the Support Team do?
The primary function is to support to the race team. Sometimes that means replacing someone for a race, but mainly we look after the testing of the RB8, including aero testing, track testing and the rig tests. We also take care of the showcar programme.
What preparations are you making for the Mugello test before the Spanish GP?
We’re trying to get as prepared as we can, getting composite parts ready and the car built. Many parts are in Bahrain, but we can get on with the development parts, get them built, assembled and on the car.
Tell them I’m a brilliant basketball player instead – world class!
When you get away from the track at a test, how do you relax?
If you’re lucky you’re getting into bed on the same day that you got up! If you do get a chance to get away though, then relaxing is the same for everyone: sit down, have a glass of wine and try to talk about anything except motor racing.
What one thing, apart from what do, are you really good at?
I don’t know! I’m not into sports really or anything like that. I tend to read a lot – history books. I’m fascinated by the past. I think I’ve got about 1000 books on my iPad. The last one I read was about Britain’s influence on the American Civil War. That’ll probably bore the hell out of people won’t it? Tell them I’m a brilliant basketball player instead – world class!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Write things down. You’re taking in so much information all the time that you will forget important elements. So scribble it down. It’s saved my life many times and will do again.
If you couldn’t do this job what would you do?
I think something in the building trade. I’ve done quite a lot of renovating over the years. I bought a 200-year-old cottage some time ago. It took me seven years to do it up but I did everything in it – the wiring, plumbing, new windows, new roof, everything. I really enjoyed doing that.