Mark Webber

  • NationalityAUS
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  • Brazil 24/11/2013
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Red Bull were delighted after locking out the front row for the third time in a row

But World Champions not taking anything for granted ahead of race

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 27/10/12 12:45pm

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Red Bull were understandably delighted with their third front-row lockout in a row - the first in the team's history - as they continued their domination at the Indian GP.

Qualifying was a lot tighter than the Milton Keynes-based team's advantage of half-a-second on Friday had suggested as McLaren and Ferrari closed the gap at the front.

Team Principal Christian Horner was pleased to see his drivers at the front, but felt they could have gone quicker had they completed a longer run in the final qualifying session.

"It was a great team performance, it was nip and tuck in that last session - Sebastian made a bit of a mistake on his first lap but Mark got a great one in, then vice-versa on the second. But it is great to secure the front row with both the cars here," he told Sky Sports F1.

"It is difficult to extract the lap time on the first lap on these tyres. We tried to do that but the soft compound is quite complicated here and maybe a longer run would have been better but nonetheless both drivers did a great job to get the lap times out."

Despite starting the race from the best possible position, Horner is expecting a tough race at the Buddh International Circuit, with the teams looking evenly matched on long-run pace.

"For sure with the two McLarens and the two Ferraris just behind us it is going to be a tough race tomorrow and their race looked reasonable - particularly the Ferrari," he added.

"So I think it is going to be a tough race and with such long straights in the first sector and a longer DRS Zone overtaking is very possible here."

That was a view shared by poleman Sebastian Vettel, who admitted the team won't enjoy the same advantage on Sunday.

"I am very happy to be on pole, it is the best position to start so I am very happy with that but there is a long race to come," the World Champion stated.

"On Friday everyone was reasonably competitive and the tyres are lasting quite well. The car is working really well, we have had a lot of feedback from the factory - the guys are working very hard so thanks to those guys as well."

Mark Webber was left ruing getting stuck behind both McLarens ahead of his final run, feeling that had he been able to push harder and generate more heat in the tyres, he could have been on pole for the second race in a row.

"Obviously it was a great day for us today, we put a lot of work into making sure we had a strong car and getting as high up the grid as possible and we managed to do that," the Australian said.

"It was very, very close between Seb and I, we both only really got one run with Seb making a mistake on his first lap and me not being able to get the right tyre prep with JB and Lewis doing their own thing which is fair enough.

"Any chinks? We are pretty good on Saturdays and Sundays, we have shown that in the last few races now. It is going to be a good race, it is tighter but we should have enough."

As for a race strategy on Sunday, Horner admits that it will be hard to predict how the track will evolve, stressing it was critical the team are flexible.

"Well Korea was potential a one stop on Saturday but it turned out to be nearly a three stop so we need to be able to react to it," he added.

"Obviously as the circuit rubbers in and goes faster that changes the dynamics of the race slightly. We were fairly gentle on the tyres yesterday and we will have a good look at it tonight."

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