October 26th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Mark Webber was surprised to find himself as high as fourth on the grid after qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix, after Red Bull split the tyre strategies of its two drivers and put Webber on the slower but more durable medium tyre for the final part of qualifying.
For Sunday's race, Webber is in a very strong position to challenge for victory. The soft compound tyre has proven extremely fragile around the Buddh International Circuit, which means those who start the race on it will have to pit within just a few laps of the start. That could leave Webber with a clear track in front of him and plenty of time to pull away while Vettel and the two Mercedes drivers battle through the midfield after their first pit stops.
After qualifying, Webber explained his strategy:
"We thought it was worth trying something a little bit different with the strategy today, so that's why we ran the primes in Q3. We thought we would probably be a bit further back than the second row to be honest, so it turned out to be a good session for us. It's not easy to manage the primes when you just get a look at them in Q3, but I think we did a good job and we didn't leave too much out there.
"We're in a good position to capitalise on a different approach tomorrow. The option tyre (used by the first three cars) shouldn't last too long and we'll be on a different strategy. That said, I'll still have to use the softer tyre in the race at some point, so let's see."
Webber is still looking for his first win of the 2013 season. In the other Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel has won nine times this season and looks set to secure his fourth consecutive drivers' title tomorrow. Red Bull are quite likely to secure their fourth consecutive Constructors' Championship during the Indian Grand Prix.