Team and drivers report from Chinese Grand Prix qualifying at Shanghai International Circuit, Round 3 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship.
Car 1 Sebastian Vettel, Position: 9th (3rd Practice – P4, 1:36.286)
“We’re obviously on a different strategy to the cars in front, whether that works or not we will see tomorrow, but I’m confident we did the right thing based on the facts we have. It was a different approach to normal in today’s qualifying and it all came down to the last few minutes for everyone; it was very silent and then everyone left in a queue to start the lap at the same time – but not a problem. We have the advantage of choosing the tyres for tomorrow, so we’ll see.”
Car 2 Mark Webber, Position: 14th, (3rd Practice – P5, 1:36.420)
Mark was later moved to the back of the grid as his car was not driven back to the pits and was unable to provide the fuel sample, as required.
“It’s very disappointing. Q1 went okay; I was comfortable with the car and we had a good plan for the rest of the session. In Q2 we lost fuel pressure so I had to turn the car off and couldn’t get it back to the pits. I had to stop on the circuit, so qualifying was over before it started really. We need a bit of luck now; it’s not the optimum starting position, but we still have to try to get something from there.”
Christian Horner: “A frustrating qualifying session for the team and for Mark. Unfortunately in Q2 the amount of fuel that was required to be put into the car from the fuel rig was not fully delivered. This was due to an error with the fuel bowser that meant it under delivered 3kg of fuel. Therefore on Mark’s in-lap we saw large drop outs in the fuel tank collector and the car unfortunately ran dry of fuel, which is obviously frustrating. The fuel bowser has been immediately quarantined for further investigation. It’s a shame as he would obviously have made Q3 today and the tactic with both drivers was to adopt the same strategy. As we’ve seen this weekend the soft tyre has had very good one lap performance, but very limited durability so we took a tactical decision in Q3 to run the harder tyre. That means Sebastian will have freedom of choice to start on a new set of tyres for tomorrow’s race, which should be very interesting due to the different strategies involved.”
(Renault) Thierry Salvi: “Today was a disappointing result all round but it happens. Unfortunately due to a problem with the fuel bowser on Mark’s car, the correct level of fuel was not delivered to the car. Despite trying to save fuel on the way back we came up just short. We have a long race ahead of us tomorrow.”