Mark Webber, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2013

Webber takes pole from Vettel as Hamilton spins

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2013Mark Webber claimed his second pole position of the season in Abu Dhabi.

He shares the front row with Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel who looked on course for his eighth pole position of the year before being pipped by Webber.

The Mercedes drivers will share the second row after Lewis Hamilton spun on his final lap in Q3.


With the soft tyre offering a lap time boost of well over a second compared to the medium, some drivers didn’t even bother running on the harder tyres at the beginning of the session. That included the Red Bull drivers who did a single run on the softs to gain their place in Q2.

The Ferrari pair ran the mediums tyres at first then switched to the softs, Felipe Massa making a late leap from the bottom six to end the session second.

His gain was Esteban Gutierrez’s loss, the Sauber driver making his ninth exit in Q1 this year. He was joined by the Caterham and Marussia drivers as usual, plus a bemused Adrian Sutil whose race engineer told him they simply hadn’t been quick enough.

Max Chilton was the slowest qualifier, a fact partly attributed to his DRS not working, but team mate Jules Bianchi will start last due to a gearbox change penalty.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’41.999
18Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’42.051
19Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’43.252
20Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’43.398
21Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’43.528
22Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’44.198


For the front-runners, Q2 was all about whether they could get through without making a second run. With the track temperature dropping – it was over 10C cooler than final practice – and lap times falling, they were aiming for a moving target in terms of the cut-off time.

Lotus estimated a 1’41.1 would be good enough to reach the final ten. Mercedes figured more like a 1’40.9 – and they turned out to be right.

Fortunately for Lotus, and unlike in India, neither of their drivers were caught out. Romain Grosjean made a second run and went through while Kimi Raikkonen went out as a precaution but didn’t set a time, as did Hamilton.

Webber was another of the driver who had to do another run and at this stage it seemed Vettel had the measure of him again.

The Ferrari drivers had been on a edge of the top ten all weekend. Massa’s final lap left him tenth with Fernando Alonso still on a lap. He was unable to break into the top ten, however, having to settle for 11th. Jenson Button was also knocked out, mystified about his car’s loss of pace since the last practice session.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’41.093
12Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’41.133
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’41.200
14Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.279
15Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’41.395
16Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’41.447


The shoot-out for the top ten was between the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers. Wwhen Vettel when fastest in the first runs by three tenths of a second it again seemed like the usual story was playing itself out.

Hamilton lapped fractionally slower than he had in Q2 and on his way back to the pits asked his team to inspect his car. They did, despite not being able to see any problems in the data.

On his final lap a snap of oversteer at turn 13 put him on the kerbs, from where he could not recover. He spun off backwards at turn 14, ending his bid for pole.

Webber took to the track for his final run and began stringing together fastest sectors. He drove for the line and became the first person all weekend to tour the Yas Marina track in less than 100 seconds, setting a 1’39.957.

Vettel would have to find some more time but a mistake in the first sector had cost him over a tenth of a second. He ran wide at turn one, lost grip on the Astroturf, and from then on was fighting to regain lost ground. Despite taking a tenth back from Webber in the final sector, he fell short.

Raikkonen took fifth for Lotus, his best qualifying position since the summer break, with Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber separating him from team mate Grosjean.

Top ten in Q3

1Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.957
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’40.075
3Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.419
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’40.501
5Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’40.542
6Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’40.576
7Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’40.997
8Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.015
9Sergio PerezMcLaren1’41.068
10Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.111

2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “Webber takes pole from Vettel as Hamilton spins”

  1. It’s so great to see the FIA keeping to their ‘exceeding track limits’ rule.
    Seriously though, on so many occasions drivers did it, so I can only assume that they eventually gave up.

    1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
      2nd November 2013, 14:40

      I’d rather they just gave up this season as after India that would at least be consistent. It was stated quite a lot on Sky that they were only really fussed about the last corner anyway which is completely random.

    2. They are taking an equally hands-off attitude to some quite blatant corner cutting in the GP3 race at the moment as well. Maybe they’ve given themselves the day off.

      1. @red-andy I’m watching that aswell.
        Seems the Stewards were only on shift during the GP2 race.

        1. @bosley Never mind, they’ve given out a penalty to the worst offender.

        2. @bosley GP3 too, Sainz Jr best time was disallowed…

    3. And I think it’s a bad thing. Sure they can make it “legally” if they don’t carry o much speed while cornering.

  2. Well done Mark Webber, hope Redbull don’t botch up his strategy like Suzuka

    1. Doesn’t need Redbull to screw him up. His poor start is always there.

      1. Poor clutch setting is not his fault.

    2. @noob that was no botched strategy, was perfect :)

  3. Have the times been confirmed? Regarding the track limitations? I remember Nico Rosberg being warned over the radio to stay within track limits. Webber and Vettel didn’t.

    1. (@magon4)

      Massa as well, if he saw on the replay on his q1 lap in the final corner, he clearly went with 4 wheels of the track.. Seriously, Webber and Vettel exceeding track limits???

      1. Vettel went off-track (just like Massa in Q1) in his last run from Q3, but not on the last 2 corners tho. It was another corner. But off-track !

    2. How can they only apply the ‘track limits’ rule to Q3 runners? I can’t see it happening.

  4. So much for track limits… if they could just avoid this problems by making circuits that don’t allow you to miss your apex by 100 miles…

    Well done for Webber ! for a track he’s usually uncomfortable with, a great effort ! but I have my doubts about tomorrow… shame Grosjean was following Hamilton at the end, he could’ve been much higher up.

    And kudos to Massa and Hulkenberg !

    1. @fer-no65
      I agree. The stewards should not be doing this sort of thing. The circuit’s should simply be designed in a way that the fastest way around the track, is on the racetrack. If they wanted the drivers to stay on it, why on earth do they make the curbs so wide that you could park an entire lorry on it?

  5. I reckon Red Bull & Lotus race pace will be very similar, which means strategy might give the blacks a win. Even Alonso from 11th can still do quite a lot if he has good race pace. Don’t see Mercedes winning.

  6. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    2nd November 2013, 14:41

    Congrats to Webber- apparently he matched Brabham’s pole tally which is very special.

    1. And Brabham was a triple WDC, amazing.

      1. @hohum not that amazing: Webber has been in the constructor’s winning car the last four seasons and one of the top 2 five years running, with longer seasons than Brabham competed in.

        1. @vettel1, what I found amazing was that over +-14 yrs Brabham won 3 WDC but only had 13 poles, no doubt J.Clark was part of his problem.

          1. Ah, I see @hohum! Indeed, Clark to Brabham is a bit like Senna to Prost in that respect.

  7. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    2nd November 2013, 14:44

    How many times has Massa outqualified Alonso? And after summer break?
    Also, kudos to Hulk, getting among the big ones again.

    1. 9-8 for alo

    2. Does it really matter how many times MAS outqualified ALO, especially as long as they’re battling somewhere between P5 and P10 ?!?! Don’t quite think so ! The wins, points scored, champ position(s) matter indeed tho. ALO has more than 2xMassa’s points… again ! If Ferrari is going to lose 2nd place in the WCC, maybe 3rd too, is because of Massa, not Alonso. If Massa was that good, there would have been a battle between the teams to hire him. That didn’t happen… and says everything.

      1. @corrado-dub It matters to compare the performance of a driver relative to the car. Getting outqualified that often by your teammate shows you’ve been underperfoming in qualifying, quite drastically so if we compare the status of Alonso to Massa.

        This underperfomance is one of the reasons Alonso has been inferior to Vettel (in terms of pure driving performance, not results) this season.

        1. Sorry, I’m talking about this case in particular and not in general, and I do not agree with you. In some cases Massa barely outqualified ALO by 0,001s, in India ALO was on a different strategy and went to Q3 on mediums while Massa went on softs (and then ALO, yes, messed his race by touching Button and Webber), so it’s not like Massa is outqualifying ALO by 0,3-0,5s every Quali. Then, even if it was like you said, the problem is not ALO, but Massa. Ferraris was/is obviously the 3rd/4th car on the grid, but “somehow” ALO is 2nd in the WDC. So, it’s not like he had the car to fight Vettel, but failed miserably. Massa instead… is a joke. The Quali duel is almost 50/50, but Massa has less than half ALO’s points. There’s only 1 conclusion from here: Massa is underperforming. Finally Ferrari decided to say goodbye to him……

        2. @TheBass, I believe that corrado-dub just needs to calm down a bit and admit that since the summer break Alonso’s performance, particularly in qualy, has been rubbish. If Massa is as rubbish a driver as corrado-dub believes, then why is Alonso always behind him in qualy? Just makes no sense. We agree that the Ferrari is not as fast and reliable as the RedBull this season, but it is necessary to admit that Alonso’s performance in qualy has a lot to do with the current situation. I just wonder what would be some guys be saying here if the scenario today was the other way round, how Massa is a joke and how Alonso is the ultimate master to take a tractor to Q3.
          It seems to me that Massa’s improvement in the second half of the season could be related to the decrease in Alonso’s performance: the new tires. In the same way, I don’t believe that all of a sudden Grosjean learnt how to drive and Kimi forgot where did he put his pace.
          Knowing Alonso’s hability to hit the fan under pressure to throw the blame on top the team, I wonder how will be the environment inside Ferrari tonight.

  8. Here’s to hoping Webber doesn’t end the race on the back of a scooter…again

    1. Lol that’s quite a funny comment actuallly. Maybe Minichamps the famed model maker could do a Webber and track marshal on scooter special to commenmorate another Webber retirement due to another spate of misfortunate.

      On a serious note, i am hoping Webber manages to win anothe race or two in the remaining flyaway races before he heads off to Porsche.

    2. @strifeforce LOL I saw him on the back of one in India and boy he was furious !

  9. Hasn’t the pole sitter never won the race here? That should be in favor or SV or NR tomorrow.

    1. @rcrc

      Hasn’t the pole sitter never won the race here?

      No, Vettel won from pole in 2010.

  10. Would there any penalty for not paying your driver?

    1. Probably a fine. :)

    2. You get a Maldonado. (It is just a joke, guys, it’s just a joke…)

  11. Normally, I’d rather not see those who ran wide at the last corner get penalised. But the problem with this whole thing is the stewards actually told them to stay inside the track limits and some people did and probably lost some time. So isn’t that unfair to them?

  12. Great ! Congrats to Webber ! Really happy for him ! Hope he wins the race too !

  13. If we look at the Knock Outs of Q2, it is really the big league of legendary F1 teams a.ka. McLaren, Ferrari and Williams. If someone told me 15 years ago that one day Mclaren , Ferrari and Williams will not be in the Top ten of the Grid after a normal qualifying, I would have told him/her that they are crazy.

    It is the New World order Red Bull, Mercedes & Lotus . If not for Nico H, it would have been the Picture perfect Top 3 Rows of the Grid.

  14. Werbber beat Vettel? Wow! Miracles can happen!

  15. Right rear wishbone failure for Hamilton. It caused the spin. Wishbone could’ve been damaged on his first q3 when he took a bit too much kerb.

  16. Come on Ferrari, that was abysmal.

  17. Lewis is always mighty around this track, and he was on his pole lap… Bad luck the car broke down…I am sure he will overtake the bulls at the first corner and reclaim his victory of 2012

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