• Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Red Bull getting closer - Webber

ESPNF1 Staff
March 24, 2012 « KERS problem takes edge off Alonso's qualifying lap | 'We were in with a shout for pole today' - Raikkonen »
Mark Webber was within 0.25s of pole position but still only lines up fouth on the grid © Getty Images

Mark Webber believes that Red Bull has closed the gap to the front of the grid during qualifying and is hopeful it will retain a better race pace.

After qualifying in Australia Red Bull was over 0.7s slower than the pole-sitting McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, but in the race Webber and Sebastian Vettel matched his pace. In Malaysia Webber qualified in fourth place behind both McLaren's and Michael Schumacher, but he said he was encouraged by the gap to Hamilton and feels the close nature of the grid is good for the sport.

"It wasn't too bad, we had a reasonable run," Webber said. "In Melbourne we were a bit stronger in the race than in qualifying and looking at the gap to pole today, it seems we are two or three tenths off, which is a step in the right direction. We will re-group and have a look at how we go tomorrow. We've made progress with the car from Melbourne though. It's tight between the first four rows, there's some very good performances going on from quite a few teams - it's good for the fans."

Webber added that he knew McLaren would lockout the front row once again because the two drivers were so closely matched.

"I think it was pretty clear they didn't have the smoothest P3 and they are strong. They are strong in qualifying and short run performance, and Lewis looks very strong over one lap which inevitably means JB will have to challenge and rise to that level, which he nearly did today. So that lifts the team, it's pushing the team forward and we've got to make them work for it tomorrow."