• Bahrain Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel praises team for recovery

ESPNF1 Staff
April 21, 2012 « 'It was one of my best qualifying sessions' - Hamilton | Button worried about race start »
Sebastian Vettel took his first pole position of the season at Sakhir © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel paid tribute to his Red Bull team for the work it has put in to be more competitive after securing pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having looked like the team to beat in pre-season testing Red Bull had not been able to challenge for pole position at any of the first three races, with Vettel's second place at the Australian Grand Prix the team's only podium to date this season. Having run different exhaust configurations on the two cars in China Red Bull decided which approach to take in Bahrain and the end result was first and third on the grid.

Vettel admitted the team had enjoyed little sleep as it worked out how to get the car performing better and said he was pleased that it had now found the right direction with the RB8.

"It obviously feels great and I think this one I completely owe to the team and to the guys," Vettel said. "It wasn't an easy start to the season for us, surely a lot of expectations but I think more than anything it's what we expect from ourselves. We didn't match our expectations and we've been extremely busy working on the car, trimming here and there, finding the perfect solution and the right way to go.

"The boys, I don't think they've had much sleep to be honest at the last four races. With a tough weekend last weekend in China and now here they seriously have a lack of sleep and it's very good to put the car on pole. I think, both of us (himself and Webber), we owe the result today to the team. It's good, the car felt much better all weekend, I was quite happy. I didn't have the smoothest qualifying; I was nearly out in Q1, nearly out in Q2, but then I knew that when I get the lap in and nail it we should be in a better place. It's great obviously to see we've just beaten Lewis for pole so I'm very happy."

Vettel also said that he expected the race to prove an even tighter affair with a number of teams in with a chance of victory.

"I think it's always tough, the race here is long and there's a lot of things that can happen. I think we are pretty aggressive and should be better off probably in the race. Race pace has proven to be pretty consistent over the last couple of races, I think this one I'm definitely happier with how the car feels and we should be able to hopefully get the same kind of feeling and result tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the start of the race and then I think it will be pretty tight to be honest.

"Of course we're sitting here in the top three but I think there's also other people that have a very good chance; I think Nico has been very strong all weekend and the Lotus guys can surprise, so in terms of race pace I think everyone will be much closer together and I just hope we can keep it up and have a good result tomorrow."