• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Webber in a net pole position

ESPN Staff
October 26, 2013 « Tyres caught me out - Grosjean | Raikkonen still not happy despite improved qualifying »
Mark Webber starts from the second row on medium tyres © Sutton Images

Mark Webber believes he's starting from a net pole position after qualifying fourth for the Indian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel starts from pole ahead of the two Mercedes, but Webber is the highest-placed driver starting the race on medium tyres with strategy expected to be crucial in the race. Vettel himself expects Webber to be a big threat in the race and Fernando Alonso - also starting on mediums in eighth - believes he too has a chance of victory.

Asked if he is effectively starting from pole, Webber said: "In terms of position probably yes, in terms of lap time probably not.

"I'd be probably still about a 0.15s off Seb. So it was still a pretty good lap; to be 0.8s or 0.9s clear of some of the other guys on prime [mediums] was good. So I thought we weren't as competitive on the prime to be honest - I thought the option was an advantage for us - but that didn't turn out for me in qualifying.

"I didn't feel comfortable on the option, so I said 'well, let's go prime' and the prime worked out to be very good. So it's a real 50:50 on strategy; obviously the guys on option will be in early, we'll go longer and we have to put the option on at some stage in the race so let's see where we put that on."

Ultimately, Webber expects traffic after the first round of pit stops to be the deciding factor in the race.

"I think most people outside the top ten will probably start on the prime. So we'll see where Sebastian and Mercedes pit and who they've got to clear. There'll be two races going on; a race at the front and a race at the back and we'll try to meet up at the end at some point."

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