Vettel grateful to ‘generous’ Raikkonen


Sebastian Vettel has conceded "a little help from a friend" helped him recover in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix and join Lewis Hamilton on the front row of the grid.

The World Championship leader was at one stage languishing down in P5, but a mistake from team-mate Kimi Raikkonen saw him switch attention to helping Vettel get a nice slipstream for his final hot lap which brought him to within two tenths of Hamilton.

"I think I had a little bit of a help from a friend," Vettel said after qualifying.

"Kimi had to abort his lap and was very generous giving me a nice tow in the last sector, which got me like two-tenths, so that helped – it made it more comfortable with Valtteri [Bottas].

"In Q1 I was really happy, the car was amazing. In Q2, the job was to get through. In Q3, on the first lap, I was missing a bit of feel for the front.

"My second run in Q3 was better in that regard, and I got a bit of a help, but it was tricky getting into the last corner, knowing you arrive faster with the tow, and braking is never easy.

"I managed to get it right and get it across the line.

"Our pace has been very good this weekend, less for one lap, more for long runs, so let's see what we can do."

Vettel earlier ended speculation about his future by signing a new three-year contract extension with Ferrari.