Getty Images

Belgium Grand Prix Qualifying – Red Bull Racing

Saturday 27 August 2011

Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Position: POLE POSITION, (3rd Practice – P5, 2:10.402)
“It was difficult in Q1 and Q2, although at the end of Q3 the circuit was drying very quickly. I didn’t feel comfortable at the beginning of qualifying, but for Q2 I think we made a big step forward and I rediscovered Spa in a way! In the last session, I used the first two laps of Q3 to get temperature into the tyres and then for the last two I tried to push as hard as I could. I think tomorrow it will be one of those races where anything can happen. I think the best way to get a forecast here is to look up into the sky and see what’s happening. It’s likely to be dry tomorrow and the balance felt good at the end of Q3 when it was dry. It’s a long race tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Position: 3rd, (3rd Practice – P1, 2:08.988)
“It was a close session today; I think I went a bit too hard on the slicks initially in Q3. I felt comfortable, and you never know if the lap you’re on is the one before the weather changes. There were sprinklings of rain here and there and as soon as we finished Q3 it began to rain again, so I probably could have built up a bit slower and had a better run into the third and fourth lap. But, that’s how it goes and we have had a smooth weekend. It’s very easy in these conditions to end up out of position and we’re in position, it would have been nicer to have been a slightly higher up, but the guys in front did a good job and we’re in the hunt tomorrow.”

“A great team result to get pole and third, after a really exciting and difficult qualifying in very changeable Belgian conditions. It was almost like playing roulette with the weather at different stages and it was crucial to be on the track at the right time on the right tyre. We made the right calls as a team today and the drivers built through each session, getting onto slicks in the last session when ultimately it came down to the last lap. It was a phenomenal lap from Sebastian for pole and Mark was right there as well, having been very quick throughout the weekend so far. It’s great to be starting in first and third for tomorrow’s race, hopefully the conditions will be a bit better than they were today.”

“It was a tricky session today, as we had had a lot of rain for the three practice sessions, so it was difficult to know where we were in terms of pace. I think we did a really wonderful job to be back at the top of qualifying after the summer break. We had the pace today to have both cars on the front row, but unfortunately Mark had some traffic in Q3, which was a shame.”

It’s one of the most famous corners in motorsport, a daunting left-right kink that every driver wants to take flat out. Here, Red Bull Junior Team member Daniel Ricciardo looks back to…

For me, the first time through Eau Rouge was actually in Formula Renault 2.0 in 2007. A couple of months before the race, there was a test here which is when I first drove it. Spa was the circuit I was most excited about driving and I was really excited about that test. I remember the track walk, just walking up Eau Rouge I was quite overwhelmed by it, it’s huge. Television just doesn’t do it justice. Looking back down it, it seemed pretty daunting but I was keen to drive it, especially at full speed. Coming out of the pit lane I wanted to do it straightaway, but I knew the tyres were cold, so I had a bit of a lift, but on the next lap, with the tyres up to temp, I did it full. It was so cool, something to tell your dad and your mates: ‘I did Eau Rouge flat.’ In that Formula Renault it was actually quite easy, but you do still get that compression and you fly up the hill and there’s that little bit of a blind spot at the top where you can’t pick the apex on the exit, all those things make it incredible. Going down the hill towards it is not easy either.
You start to think ‘maybe I’m at a good enough speed to take it’ but there’s always a bit more. It just keeps going down. The first few times you go through it your right foot does go a little bit light! But once you’ve done it, you quickly get the confidence and it’s actually not as scary as it looks. It’s a great feeling coming out of there the first time. You realise you’ve been holding your breath the whole way through and as you go up you breathe out and give a little fist pump. It’s great.”

It was during the F1 summer break in LA. Watch it now at: