Sebastian Vettel said he is still yet to get the “full hang” of his Ferrari SF1000 after a Q2 elimination at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
The four-time World Champion came into the race weekend fresh off the news that his Formula 1 career has been given a lifeline.
That’s because Vettel will join the Aston Martin team for 2021, replacing Sergio Perez.
But any hopes of Vettel coming into the weekend of Ferrari’s 1000th World Championship race revitalised were dashed by a sub-standard performance in qualifying.
The German racer would manage only P14 on the grid for the Tuscan Grand Prix, while his team-mate Charles Leclerc will start from P5.
When asked about his struggles to get to grips with the Ferrari, Vettel did say it’s getting a “bit better”, but evidently he and the SF1000 are not on the same page.
“It was getting a little bit better, but obviously not yet getting the full hang of it,” a subdued Vettel told reporters at Mugello.
“It should be a little bit better [on the long runs], but it’s hard to say now, but for sure we’ll try everything that we can.”
𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐄 𝐃𝐀𝐘
Our 1000th Grand Prix in #F1 is almost here!
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 12, 2020
Leclerc meanwhile is rightfully delighted to be starting Ferrari’s 1000th race from P5.
“It was amazing, P5 was definitely the best we could have done today and I didn’t expect it, so I’m very happy with the lap overall. I put everything together,” he said.
“Monza and Spa were extremely difficult for the whole team and the characteristics of this track are better for our car, but that doesn’t explain all of the performance this weekend.
“I think it’s still a bit of an unknown and this is very important for us to understand because that’s how consistently we will be at our best.
“At Monza I really wasn’t confident with the car and I probably wasn’t driving at my best because I didn’t have the confidence in the car. This weekend I have more confidence and so it helps me to give my best.
“I struggle massively to drive the car with low downforce settings, but here we managed to put the balance right and it felt very good in the car. We are lacking overall performance to be able to fight with the guys in front, but the balance gave me confidence.”
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