As if winning two Grands Prix in a row were not enough, Mark Webber proved that he might be possible to win a third. The Australian recorded a 1:26:295 on Saturday afternoon to take his third pole in a row for Sunday's Grand Prix of Turkey at the...
As if winning two Grands Prix in a row were not enough, Mark Webber proved that he might be possible to win a third. The Australian recorded a 1:26:295 on Saturday afternoon to take his third pole in a row for Sunday's Grand Prix of Turkey at the Istanbul Autodrom. Lewis Hamilton finished second in his McLaren for the first time this season, while Sebastian Vettel, who clocked the first two sessions with the best time, had to settle for third.
"Today went well." stated Webber. "We had a problem during practice this morning so I went out late for the first prime run. It meant I was therefore a little on the back foot going into qualifying, which wasn't ideal preparation, but we refocused and got ready. Some new parts were bolted on to the rear of my car about four minutes before I went out for Q1, which was a great effort by the guys to get them on in time."
No incidents occurred in the first session, as Formula One newcomers Lotus, HRT and Virgin Racing cars all failed to advance into the second round. But in the second session, Fernando Alonso went astray, as the Spaniard could manage to place no higher than 12th on the grid. Afterwards, Alonso couldn't hide his disappointment, but was very much to the point.
"Nothing strange happened: twelfth place is what we deserve from what we have seen today. I did not have enough speed and, when there are nine drivers within half a second, as happened today in Q2, it takes an instant to be either fourth or twelfth and in my case it was the latter," he said. "I don't think I could have done better today: I did practically the same time three times. Tomorrow will be tough and we will be racing defensively, but we will try and get the best result possible. I don't think today's weather, with slightly lower temperatures, had an influence on this result. Already in Q1, we realised we were not competitive at the highest level and that it would be difficult to get into Q3. The car balance is okay, as it was yesterday when we were quicker."
Another Spaniard, Jaime Alguasuari, who also failed to advance into the final round, left his Toro Rosso car out on the circuit and could not make it back to his garage.
Webber managed to take the quickest time just at the very last few minutes were winding down, with Jenson Button leading the best of the rest in fourth. Meanwhile Michael Schumacher edged his teammate Nico Rosberg for fifth, despite spinning on his last qualifying lap at the famous turn eight.
"I am quite happy with my qualifying today and I really think that we have made a step forward," commented the seven time world champion. "If you consider that this is a track which is aerodynamically demanding, you can clearly say the hard work of our guys paid off and I would really say thank you to them. What happened in Turn 8 was that it was my last go, the fast lap before was a good one, so obviously you try to push even more, especially as on this lap you can win time. I went out a bit wide and off it went. In my view, the side I am starting from tomorrow is an advantage as it is much cleaner. I have tried practice starts from both sides and felt my side was the better one. As for tomorrow's race, I will certainly try to have a good start and try to achieve the best result possible."
Robert Kubica and his Renault teammate Vitaly Petrov, took seventh and ninth respectively, while Ferrari's Felipe Massa, a three time winner of this event, was sandwiched in between the Renaults in eighth. Kamui Kobyaschi took tenth in his Sauber, the second time that the Japanese managed to qualify in the top ten.
Everything seems to go Webber's way, but the series leader was still very open minded about tomorrow's race.
"It's a great position to start tomorrow's race, but each event is unique and has it own challenges. We know the tyres get a hard time round here, so it should be an interesting race - I'm looking forward to it."