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Webber: Qualifying no longer as important

Tuesday 07-May-2013 08:34

Red Bull driver Mark Webber believes qualifying no longer plays such an important role in Formula One.

While in the past drivers went all out on a Saturday to start as high as possible on the grid, these days many teams elect not to send their cars out in Q3 in order to save tyres for race day.

Veteran Webber, who has been a big critic of the high degradation levels of this season's Pirelli tyres, admits qualifying is "less of a factor" in this day and age.

"In the past qualifying was almost everything - 75 to 80 per cent," he is quoted as saying by Germany's T-online.

"Where you were after the first round was very important, but it is less of a factor these days."

He added: "There's still a little bit of chess on a Saturday to make sure you're in a good position, but it's no longer as important as it once was."

Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, though, felt qualifying as high as possible up the grid remains key to F1, especially if you want to stay out of trouble.

"If you are higher up the grid it helps you to save the tires - and the chances of being involved in an accident are smaller," the Finn said.

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