Sebastian Vettel has admitted that his tactic to drive cautiously in his first Q3 lap and then improve on the final run “didn’t quite work”.
The Ferrari driver qualified in P2, less than a quarter of a tenth slower than Valtteri Bottas as he failed to improve on his final run.
“Obviously it was a very nice session, really fun to drive the car this afternoon, but if you are so close to pole and just on the wrong side of it, then I guess Valtteri had a bit more fun,” Vettel told the press after the session.
“It was okay. The gap was very small, only one or two hundredths, that is always there. I had a very good first lap and had some margin in the last sector.
“I was maybe taking it a little bit too conservative making sure I should have finished the lap and set the lap first, and then improve on the second lap.
“Unfortunately I didn’t improve, so my plan didn’t quite work.”
The German is optimistic about his chances in the race however, saying that the car is improving as the weekend goes on.
“Overall it was good. I think we will have a strong race tomorrow as the car felt better today than yesterday which is also what we needed.”
His team-mate Charles Leclerc meanwhile was happy with his qualifying performance given his FP3 difficulties, where he retired before doing a lap.
“It’s never nice to miss out on time in FP3 because it’s the only session that really prepares you for the qualifying,” he told Ziggo Sport.
“I don’t know to what extent it influences it but for us, anything is possible tomorrow.
“The start remains interesting here, but we will see how it goes.”
Despite qualifying P4, Leclerc was just a tenth off pole himself.
“I’m pretty happy about today. We were not far from pole,” he added.
“After what happened today, we can be quite satisfied, because it was not easy.”
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