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India 2011 - Qualifying press conference - Quote transcripts following the Saturday F1 action

Published by Christine

Questions to the top three drivers following qualifying on Saturday in India.

Pole position: Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull

Q: Sebastian, a new record, 16th pole of the year for your team and, you personally, seemed to have something in hand out there in qualifying?

"It was a good session for us, obviously a new circuit, new venue, tricky for all of us, first time round in qualifying. It was tricky, we've seen all weekend, with the dust on the track so we ended up with one racing line clear of dirt, and just a little bit out makes you lose a lot of time. It was quite tricky. I think we managed pretty well, the car was fantastic, to be honest, since yesterday, this morning as well and throughout qualifying.

"I think in the end there was a little bit left in the first sector. Its quite tricky, I think we saw some people going for two timed laps, others only one. I think then it becomes a bit trickier to hit the first sector. There's a long straight after turn three, so you want to make sure you don't lose time. I'm extremely happy, it's good to be here. I think it's a very interesting race, a challenging circuit. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. First time in India, so excited to race tomorrow."

Q: Sebastian, the race tomorrow, any plans for what you will do if you and Mark are running one and two towards the end of the race?

"It's a long race. Lewis starts in fifth, I think. It's a long race, it's a new track, we really don't know how the tyres will respond. We've seen a couple of surprises, but we'll find out tomorrow. It's not time now to worry about those things. First we have to race hard and enjoy. I think Mark and myself, obviously we target to finish the race, ideally we want to finish 1-2. I think it's going to be an interesting race tomorrow."

2nd place: Lewis Hamilton - McLaren

Q: Lewis, it was close after the first run in Q3, then you aborted your final run and, of course, you are moving three places back on the grid as well so your thoughts really on qualifying today

"It was interesting that you smile about that. No, really it's been a good day for me, I think. I'm quite surprised we were able to split the Red Bulls, it's great to be on the front row in terms of how we qualified. Of course we had the penalty which is a bit of a silly mistake from myself, but I paid the price and tomorrow we still have good race pace, and it's a long race with two DRS zones so overtaking should be a lot easier than perhaps other places. I'm still optimistic regardless of where I start."

3rd place: Mark Webber - Red Bull

Q: Mark, Red Bull looks good around here. Your thoughts on the race tomorrow and what you can do on this new track

"It's a good challenge for all of us, a new venue. Tricky to work out the right strategy for qualifying, obviously the tyres weren't easy for one timed lap. We had to work out how we were going to do the strategy. Lots of teams tried different styles to get the best lap time out of the car. First sector was tricky to get right on one tyre, could have done better in the first sector on my first lap, or my only run because of the yellow flags, so couldn't do my second lap. Overall, a good job from the team, come to a new venue and prepared well, and put down a good foundation for the race tomorrow."

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