After showing indifferent form in practice, Red Bull nevertheless qualified in the top ten for the Italian Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will start ninth and tenth carrying sufficient fuel for a one-stop strategy.
Crucially, though, they were lighter than the Brawn GP cars that qualified ahead of them. After qualifying Mark Webber talked to the press, including AUTOSPORT.
Q. You seemed to have more speed in qualifying. What improvements have you found?
Mark Webber: In P3 we were pretty heavy. We knew we would get a lot of the pace back just with fuel loads and that turned out to be the case. We're just off the bubble of the pace that we need.
Q. Have you had to run more conservative mapping to protect your engines?
MW: No, we're flat out. There are different wing levels going on, so it's always hard to read what the power levels are like. We've seen a good performance from Mercedes this weekend but I think Renault have done a good job for us so far.
I'm in good shape for engines - okay, so Sebastian has fewer, and we've both lost mileage with engines here and there, but Renault are pushing as hard as they can. Don't forget that we're second in the constructors' championship and we've had a good year - it's just that other teams have arrived. The Brawn and Red Bull thing is over; we have many teams coming back now.
Q. At this stage of the championship, how important is the mental aspect?
MW: It's pretty straightforward really. I came here not thinking about the championship because it's a one-off race. You just have to do the best you can. And after Sunday night I'll start thinking about Singapore. The mentality doesn't change in my opinion. If you're doing all these maths in your head, then it doesn't work - it's going to affect your lap times. You need to just focus on what you've got to do.
Q. Do you think rain might improve your chances in the race?
MW: From what we saw in Q2, I think the Brawns are faster. But it's not nice to start in the middle of the pack in the wet, either. Generally I like to see where I'm going, but we'll have to see. Maybe a smash-up derby wouldn't be bad for us so long as we're not involved in it. But Monza is a dangerous track in the wet.