Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea, 2011

Vettel says he expected McLaren to be quicker

2011 Korean Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea, 2011
Vettel was beaten to pole by Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel said he expected McLaren to be quicker than them in qualifying.

But he believes Red Bull’s strategy of not using the soft tyres in qualifying will help them in the race.

Speaking in the press conference he said: “To be honest I think McLaren looked very competitive yesterday.

“I know the conditions were completely different but you could see that they were a fair chunk ahead of everyone including us, as well as this morning in the dry. They looked extremely quick.

“I think once again we pushed them very hard in qualifying and got very close – I think closer than they expected and probably closer than we expected in some regards, so I think we did a very good job in qualifying.

“Also, we saved all our prime tyres which I think will be crucial for tomorrow. Obviously we had only a rough idea this morning with a little bit more fuel in the car so we could be in a good position.”

Vettel said tyre wear will be “crucial” in the race: “Jenson did a very good job last race in particular so I think that again will be very important tomorrow.”

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28 comments on “Vettel says he expected McLaren to be quicker”

  1. Well, he expected them to be quicker, but only one of them was.

    1. I wonder if Jenson made a mistake in the final sector… He was looking good for pole for a while there.

  2. I think Seb had a tenth still in the bag despite being held up by Di Resta but looking at the nature of the Track & referring back to McLaren’s Suzuka Performance,I agree with Seb on that but RB do have the better Race Strategies if im right(3 New sets of Options).

    Fascinating race to be seen,Cant wait!!!

  3. so this time Red bull would like to kick Mclaren’s ass in the race? Interesting. I think Button will be very important role in Vettel-Ham battle. and don’t forget Ferrari and Mercedes have had stunning starts!

    1. I think “kick[ing] McLaren’s ass in the race” is their goal in general, yes.

      1. “Kicking [insert other team’s name]’s ****” is everyone’s goal in the sport. Any sport for that matter.

    2. I am certainly looking forward to see how that might pan out! Getting different tyre strategies, yeah!

    3. I think Button will be very important role in Vettel-Ham battle.

      Are you sure it’s not the Button-Hamilton battle?

      1. @Alex Bkk of course I’m not sure! If Button leapfrog Vettel it would become Button-Hamilton battle certainly.

        1. I know what you mean. Is it worse to lose to Vettel or your team-mate?

  4. I think this was coming for quite some time now. McLaren was the fastest car in Suzuka too

  5. I think Button might be a bit of a sleeper this race. Wasn’t to far off Hamilton pace wise, and he always looks after the tyres better.

    One things certain, the race is going to be decided on tyres more so then anything else for sure!

    1. It might be interesting for Hamilton going fast from the start, Button waiting a bit to conserve the tyres for that one or two lap extra and Vettel going for a slightly different strategy using longer runs on the soft tyres.

      1. That’s my thinking as well. Should be a very good race.

      2. Hammy will have no more tires by the 8 or 9th lap …..will have pushed too hard like usual ……deja vu all over again ….JB will shine once again.

    2. I guess BUtton can win the race if Vettel and Hamilton get caught up in a fight or if he can get ahead at the start. I see quite a chance for the two McLarens to lead after the first corner. The only chance I see for Hamilton to win is if he can run away with the lead. But thats just a guess, who knows how the tyres will perform tomorrow.

  6. its just that mclaren delivers a stunning car just a little late.

    1. In all fairness to Macca, and this subject was beaten to death at the beginning of the season. (Why did they build this piece of rubbish?) It was a completely new design, now they have a platform that they can build on next season. With all the testing limits, I think they have done a good job to get the car up front.

  7. Superb ******** by Vettel, they have more sets of the slow tyre so watchout.

  8. I was more suprised after the initial Q3 run than after the second. Vettel clearly tried to take pole, and this shows how fast McLaren, and Hamilton, were.

  9. of course you did seb..

    1. He would have expected a Macca front row lockout, but still split them.

    2. @nemo87 It’s not that unbelievable if you think about it. Button was all over Suzuka, even throughout practice and with those 2 generous straights in Korea it’s not really a surprise that Vettel might feel more threatened than usual.

  10. Now that they have the WDC, there’s a chance that Red Bull have now taken something dodgy off the car. I might be way of the mark, but it just seems strange that they don’t have that 1 second (or more) qualifying advantage to the field (and I’m not just talking about to McLaren here).

    Why else would they be so convinced that McLaren would be faster? Horner completely expected it in his post-qualifying interview – but why only in these last two races? Ferrari were as quick as them at Japan. It just doesn’t add up.

    By the way, the banning of EBDs will have a massive effect on McLaren so I’m not so confident they will be starting 2012 where they look to be leaving off this year.

    1. Red Bull have not had a 1 second qualifying advantage for a long time, probably not even all season. I can’t help but feel disappointed that a regular F1Fanatic would really think Red Bull have had such an advantage, and only because of “something dodgy”.

      Perhaps RB were convinced Mclaren were faster because of last weekend and the free practices this weekend?

      1. Sorry to dissapoint David, although I did try and stress I might be way off the mark with this one! I just find it strange they don’t have the same advantage anymore, be it half a second we saw at Monza, or my grossly exaggerated 1 second from way earlier of course. There’s also the speculation about Webber’s plank wear at Monza by scarbs and others, but in all reality I’m sure everything RBR did was above board and my comments look stupid!

  11. Now, if Vettel or Webber manage to take a win based purely on strategy that will really rub plenty of people up the wrong way!

    I think that would be a wonderful way for them to bounce back and I would love to see how this strategy pans out.

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