Sebastian Vettel sorry for qualifying error as Mark Webber claims pole in Abu Dhabi
Red Bull drivers to start from front row after late defeat of Mercedes
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 04/11/13 8:21am
Sebastian Vettel has apologised to his Red Bull crew after a first-corner mistake on his final qualifying run scuppered his pole position bid in Abu Dhabi.
Vettel will line-up just behind team-mate Mark Webber on the front row for Sunday's race with any disappointment at the World Champion's mistake inside Red Bull no doubt mitigated by the considerable consolation of the team's fourth front-row lock-out of the year.
Having appeared to be on the backfoot at the start of Q3 after a Mercedes one-two in Q2, the Red Bulls were once again in a class of their own during the top-ten shoot-out as Webber lapped nearly half-a-second faster than the third-placed Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton will start fourth after spinning out of the session.
Vettel's mistake wasn't as stark but nevertheless cost the German dear as he slipped behind Webber for the second time in three qualifying events.
"I was pushing hard, I did what I could and it wasn't enough. The car was good, that's why I apologised to the guys and admitted I messed up," rued Vettel afterwards. "Mercedes were very, very strong but we were able to find a little more in Q3. I should have done a little bit better but I don't know if it would have been enough. Mark did a very good lap, he deserved to be on pole today."
Indeed, what was one driver's frustration was his team-mate's satisfaction as Webber celebrated the 13th pole position of his career and second this season.
"It's not the easiest venue when the temperatures are up and it wasn't the smoothest start to Q1 and Q2. But we changed the car quite a bit with front-wing level as the session went on and I got more and more comfortable," said the Australian, who will retire from F1 at the end of the season.
"I knew I had to work on certain sections of the track which Sebastian had already been doing a good job on. Overall, happy with the pole, it was a good lap on a circuit which, let's say, hasn't been super invigorating in lay-out, but we enjoyed today and we have a good car for the race."