Vettel and his KERS unit at pits
BARCELONA, May 21, 2011 (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel claimed to be not too disheartened despite seeing his run of consecutive pole positions come to an end during qualifying for Sunday's Spanish Grand prix.
The 23-year-old Red Bull driver was searching for his sixth consecutive pole position at the Circuit de Catalunya, having been on pole at every race since the final round of the 2010 championship in Abu Dhabi last year.
However, the reigning world champion was without KERS during the final two qualifying sessions and was beaten by 0.2 seconds by his Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber's time of one minute 20.981 seconds.
Vettel said he wasn't too disheartened but admitted that he felt he could have done better. "I don't think we can speak of big disappointment," said Vettel.
"In Q1 I didn't get into the rhythm immediately but made it on prime tyres, in Q2 I felt happier on the soft compound and in last qualifying I lost a little bit too much, wasn't happy with my lap."
Vettel said that despite his performance, he was happy with the overall progress the team has made. "At the end of the day we made a good step forward and Barcelona is usually a place where you bring lots of parts, and find out they work," he said.
"We had some problems and Mark did a good job. It was between us, he did a better job today. Tomorrow is a long race, we saved a set of tyres - as did the top three and Jenson (Button) - we will see what we can do tomorrow."
Vettel congratulated his team-mate and insisted that the lack of KERS did not cost him pole position. "I didn't use KERS in Q2 and Q3, but it's not right to say I didn't have KERS and Mark got pole - he deserved pole."
"I am not afraid in the race, in the race I think we will be on top of it again," he said.
"In the end it seems to be an endless story. The guys are pushing very hard, we did an exceptional job. Today we have proved our car has become quicker, we had a quick base but we made it even quicker - so big compliments to the aero guys."