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Red Bull Racing had a mixed day in Budapest qualifying, with Sebastian Vettel on the second row of the grid and Mark Webber failing to make it into the top ten. Both drivers were left less than content with the results, as a recent technical directive regarding engine maps has meant Red Bull has had to make changes this weekend.
The reigning champion had a lacklustre performance in Q1 with only a 17th fastest time of 1:22.948, right at the edge of the elimination zone. He followed that up with an improved second place in the second session, three tenths of a second behind Lewis Hamilton at 1:21.407. Having used up two sets of the faster soft tyre compounds, he had to have limited running in the final session, clocking up a 1:21.416 lap good enough for third place.
Sebastian was far from pleased with his afternoon's running, "It was difficult session for us. We didnâ€™t get into qualifying how we would like and the rhythm wasnâ€™t there straight away. We burned more tyres than we thought in the beginning, so we only had one new set for Q3. The run we had was okay, but I didnâ€™t get the same feeling that I got at the end of Q2, which was a surprise, so we didnâ€™t seem to go with the track and make another step. Romain was in reach, but Lewis was another step. We know itâ€™s difficult to overtake here, but hopefully we will have a good start. Tyre management will be crucial.â€
Mark Webber had a disappointing outing this afternoon, narrowly failing to make the cut in Q2. The Australian was not entirely happy with the car at times, clocking up a 15th place in the first session on softer rubber, with a time of 1:22.829. The next session saw him post a lap over a second quicker- 1:21.715, yet this was not good enough as he missed the cutoff by a mere 2 hundredths of a second. Webber will however have a choice of compound to start the race, giving him flexibility in terms of strategy.
Webber shared after qualifying, â€œI was happy with the car this morning, I was quick in P3, but I didnâ€™t feel happy on that last set of soft tyres in Q2 and struggled against my scrub time, which is a bit bizarre. The field is tight at the moment and itâ€™s disappointing to qualify in P11 obviously. Our race pace should be okay tomorrow.â€
Christian Horner summed things up for the team, â€œA very busy qualifying session. Both drivers made it through Q1 on the hard tyre and were able to abort the beginning of their timed laps on the softer compound, which they then ran at the beginning of Q2. Mark posted a good time, but wasnâ€™t below our own cut off, so both drivers went out again in Q2. Sebastian managed to improve; unfortunately the lap time didnâ€™t come from Mark â€“ there was only 3 tenths (of a second) between P2 and P11, but that was where Markâ€™s qualifying ended. Sebastian had one set of tyres left, so we decided to run in the middle of the session and a strong lap from him puts him P3 on the grid for tomorrowâ€™s race. I think P2 would have been our optimum today â€“ Lewisâ€™ time over a single lap was unreachable, but weâ€™re confident weâ€™ve got a good race car.â€
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