With resignation writ large on the faces of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is likely to face a bigger threat on Sunday from fourth-placed teammate Mark Webber.
Looking for a hat-trick of titles here, Vettel said, “So far, it’s a brilliant weekend. The car was amazing. We didn’t have to change a lot and through qualifying it just got better when the track ramped up. It’s a great circuit. I really like the flow of the track, especially around the middle sector with all the high-speed corners – but for sure it’s not a secret if your car behaves the way you want to, through there, then for sure you’re going to enjoy that lot.”
Rosberg looked pleased after qualifying second. “I’m pleased because the aim this weekend was to be best of the rest,” he said. “Second place is a great place to start. We went wild with the set-up on Friday to try and find a few tenths – and luckily we found it. So it’s cool. We looked at both strategies and we think the soft is the better one.”
Hamilton congratulated Vettel and said, “He showed serious pace. We have been pushing and we wanted to get a great result this weekend. I was surprised to be where we are. I did have some traffic through Turn 8 and 9 and it didn’t help. It might have been a Red Bull but we didn’t lose too much time.”
Webber, the ‘dark horse’ here in his farewell season, said, “It was not a bad qualifying to be honest. The second row we thought would probably not be possible. We had a plan to run the mediums in Q3. In the end, we got the most out of it. ”