Vettel: Leclerc ‘in a different class’ to me

Mark Scott
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel has said that team-mate Charles Leclerc is in a “different class” after more contrasting fortunes in Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying.

Vettel’s final year with Ferrari is a miserable one and the pain continued in Portimao with the four-time World Champion qualifying a lowly P15 for Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix, even behind the Williams of George Russell.

Leclerc, meanwhile, was one of the stars of the qualifying show having managed to qualify in the lofty heights of P4 and was  just 0.438s away from pole position.

Vettel cut a frustrated figure back in the paddock and was very honest about his current predicament.

“It’s not just beating, it’s like a different class,” Vettel told Sky Germany. “I try everything I can. I think the laps I hit, and I’m satisfied with them, are still too slow.

“At the moment there is nothing more I can do than to get what I have inside me.

“I actually had a pretty good feeling after the first try.

“But in the second run, the tyres didn’t get up to temperature at all. I locked a wheel right at Turn 3 and then the lap was already messed up.

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He continued: “I don’t know why I have such a hard time getting the tyres up to temperature, and that it feels a bit different every time. As I said, the car felt good the first time I tried it.

“I thought that with the medium I could easily repeat the time of Q1. That was the target, but it wasn’t that easy.

“I’ve been struggling a bit with the soft tyres all weekend,” he said. “For me, the tyres quickly let go and we got graining.

“The medium tyre seemed to be more durable. In the first attempt I had a good feeling and it was a good lap. Then I thought the time should be easy. But I couldn’t get the tyres to work.”

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