Vettel wary despite dominating qualifying

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 27, 2012 12:40 hrs

Greater Noida, Oct 27 (IANS) Double World champion Sebastian Vettel said Saturday that he was wary of the challenge the McLaren and Ferrari posed on race-day despite dominating the practice and the qualifying sessions at the Indian Grand Prix.

Vettel was in sublime form as he topped all three practice sessions as well as the main qualifying.

The German driver is in prime position to extend the gap in the driver's championship as his nearest rival Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will start Sunday's race in fifth position.

"We have to keep pushing. Today we had a very good result. It is the best position to start from, as it will be a hard race tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is the main day. It is best to have Fernando behind me than ahead, but you never know. Tomorrow will be a long, and close race," the defending champion said at the post qualifying session press conference here.

"The McLarens and the Ferraris are very quick in the long run and I can't take anything for granted at the race," he added.

Vettel's time of 1:25.283 in Q3 secured him the pole, his 35th in the career and he will be joined on the front row by team-mate Mark Webber, who was just 0.34s behind. Lewis Hamilton (1:25.544) was third, followed by Jenson Button (1:25.659).

"I am happy to be here. The car was fantastic. It was very good and it was good that we could work everything well today. I could have been faster, but it has been a great weekend so far. We started the weekend much better than last year,"

The Red Bull driver was all praise for the improvements done to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC), saying that the track was much cleaner and as the day progressed it got only quicker.

"Last year was pretty special to be the first winner of the race in India. But let see what happens tomorrow.

"I like the circuit. It suits our car. It has nice fast flowing corners towards the end of the lap and there are plenty of opportunities to overtake as well. They have done a great job cleaning the track and every session the track got quicker,' Vettel said.

Webber too was happy with his performance and felt that he had a great chance to win the race.

"I have won from second position on the grid more times (5) than I have won from pole in my career (4)," Webber said.

"I have done my best but it was difficult because I had no grip in the first sector."

Hamilton, who has had three forgetful races prior to the Indian GP, said that he was content to start the race third on the grid.

"Third is a great position to start from. The car was relatively good but it was tricky to work out the right strategy. I could have done better in the first sector. But overall it was a good job by the team," Hamilton said.

"It will be a good race tomorrow. The last couple of races have been difficult. So I am looking for a race without issues tomorrow."

More from Sify: