Webber Reflects On ‘Hollow’ Suzuka Pole
Mark Webber secured his first pole of 2013 at Suzuka, but the Aussie admitted that the achievement was a little hollow given that his teammate Sebastian Vettel had some bad luck.
The German had a KERS problems in Q3, but managed to give Webber a run for his money and take second place.
“It’s a great track, we all enjoy driving here and the laps weren’t too bad,” said Webber. “Sebastian had a problem in qualifying, I still did a phenomenal lap, but it’s a bit of hollow pole. People were trying all sorts of tires, scrubbed, new, but we did the lap when it counted. It’s a nice farewell to have the pole on my last time here.”
Webber now has to get his start right on Sunday after consistently having problems this season.
“I haven’t been too bad at starts, the clutch has been good all weekend, so it should be OK. I’ll focus on myself, try to find some gaps for myself, but Sebastian, Lewis and the Lotus will be challenging. I’m hoping for a clean race, from me, from the pit stops, we have enough experience, so it should be OK.”
Webber is hoping to end his season on a high: “I just have to look forward. It’s tough to see the results I lost and you can be frustrated for. It takes energy if you look back. Tomorrow we’ll have a great chance and I’ll think it’s my last time in Suzuka when I’ll come out of the last corner. It’s a great circuit, the car is working great and it was a nice day and let’s hope it lasts another 24 hours, in India and until the rest of season.”
Vettel Happy With Qualifying Performance Despite KERS Problem
Sebastian Vettel was knocked off pole for the first time in four races in Japan, but only after he lost the use of KERS in Q3.
Vettel, who can win his fourth World Championship on Sunday, also had a problem in the morning FP3 session, which cost him vital track time.
“We decided to change the batteries on the car because we had an issue with KERS,” said Vettel. “Unfortunately, we had the same problem in qualifying – so I think we have a little bit more time after qualifying now to have a look and see whether there’s something else broken or damaged.
“The whole team was pushing very hard. Obviously my car crew but also Mark’s car crew helped out to fix the car in time and get it out for qualifying – so we tried everything. It worked sometimes and as I said I’m sure we’ll find the problem tonight and hopefully it works tomorrow.”
Vettel said he didn’t want to make any excuses.
“Congratulations to Mark, I think he did a very good lap. We did have an issue in qualifying but I’m not a big fan of ‘without this, with this, if this’. It’s always unknown. As a fact, we are P2. So, happy, obviously, with the result. Front row for the team, which is great.
“The car was phenomenal today. The first sector – I think you realize afterwards that the car was fantastic through there and you don’t get many days like that, where the car feels great and you can really push it to the limit. I enjoyed qualifying, and I’m happy with second place.”
Pic Lands Drive-Through Penalty
Charles Pic has landed a drive-through penalty before the Japanese GP has even started. The Caterham driver will have to serve it in the first five laps of the race.
Pic was called before the FIA stewards for crossing the white line at the pit exit when the red light was on in Q1. He arrived at the light 5s after it went on – and the stewards noted that this was the second time he had missed a light, having failed to stop for a weight check in Korea.
Because Pic already had a five place grid penalty for accumulating three reprimands the stewards decided to give him this unprecedented new penalty.
Charles Pic, Formula 1, Japanese GP, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Suzuka