It was a historic day for Red Bull Racing at Monza as Sebastian Vettel took the team’s 50th pole position in Formula One, but the German ace expressed his surprise at his team’s performance in Italy.
Vettel was not just writing Red Bull’s name in the history books on Saturday, but also his own, as his storm to pole position in Monza marked his 40th in Formula One, coming five years after his very first at the same circuit with Toro Rosso in 2008.
However, the result came as somewhat of a shock for the German, who was surprised at just how well his RB9 was performing around the low downforce Monza circuit, a track at which Red Bull struggled in 2012.
“We didn’t expect to be so strong here, with both cars on the front row”, he said. “It’s due to hard work from everyone in the team working long hours; we’ve had years where we’ve had a good car, but not a car that’s competitive in low down force trim, so in that regard we did our homework.
“This circuit has been a bit up and down for us, but this year it’s surely been more up so far! The car feels great, but let’s see what we can do tomorrow; we don’t get any points from today.”
Mark Webber will line-up alongside his team-mate on the front row of the grid in 2nd, a career best at Monza, and was pleased to see Red Bull’s free practice pace transfer over to qualifying, having been unsure on Friday if something similar would occur as did at the last round in Spa.
“After yesterday we thought we could challenge for the front row, but you never know and as we saw in Belgium and today, the grid can sometimes get a bit mixed up”, said the Australian. “But overall we stayed strong and have to focus on ourselves.
“The guys did a very good job; it’s not an easy track to pull everything together over one lap. The result is the maximum for the team and it was pretty much the maximum for me today; Seb has always been very strong here and he’s a tough nut to crack at this venue. I hope to have a strong race from there tomorrow.”
Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, was suitably satisfied with the result, praising an excellent front row lock-out for the team, on a circuit that has not always suited the Milton Keynes-based-squad’s cars in the past.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic