Sebastian Vettel said he got closer to McLaren's pace than expected in Korean Grand Prix qualifying, so could not be too disappointed that Red Bull's pole run had finally been ended.
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton became the first man to take pole in anything other than a Red Bull this season as he claimed the top spot at Yeongam. But champion Vettel said that getting ahead of the second McLaren of Jenson Button and lapping within 0.3sec of Hamilton was satisfying given McLaren's speed so far this weekend.
"To be honest, I think McLaren was very very competitive yesterday," said Vettel. "I know conditions were completely different, but you can see they were a fair chunk ahead of everyone else - as well as this morning in the dry.
"Once again, we pushed them very, very hard in qualifying and got very close, closer than probably they expected and closer than we expected so we did a very good job in qualifying."
Red Bull used a set of super-softs in Q1 to keep a fresh set of soft tires back for the race, which Vettel thinks will prove to be a big advantage.
"We saved all our prime tires, which will be crucial tomorrow," he said. The German expects a very open race tomorrow and an eventful first lap.
"It's not a long way down to the first corner and Turn 3 is a little bit exposed," Vettel said. "It's a long race, lots of things can happen. Tire wear is crucial and Jenson did a good race last race, so that will be important tomorrow."