Vettel rues last-lap traffic in qualifying

Championship leader misses out on front row start

British Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel was left frustrated after being unable to secure a front row grid position for the British Grand Prix.

Vettel believes his final qualifying effort was hampered by traffic and tyre temperature issues, resulting in him being out-qualified by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel had initially beaten the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas to improve to second place on his final run, but a better lap from Raikkonen demoted the Ferrari driver to third on the grid.

Speaking after qualifying, Vettel believed the result was “decent” despite the last-lap issues.

“The target is to put Lewis under pressure but they’ve certainly been very competitive all weekend. Nevertheless I think it’s been a positive day for us; we improved the car, in qualifying the car was great.

“In the last run, I was a bit compromised, I think in the first sector especially because the tyres were not where they should’ve been. Maybe I should’ve seen that a bit better but I was still traffic and I was in a bunch of three or four cars. So, not ideal, but I think it’s a decent result.”

Kimi Raikkonen added that he was hopeful that Ferraris race pace would enable them to challenge Lewis Hamilton on Sunday.

“There are always opportunities, whether what were going to do will work is another story.

“Obviously the conditions were quite tricky, especially at the beginning, but it was getting better and better and it was ok in the end.

“I don’t know exactly how far away we were from the front, but I think we have a good car. I think for the race hopefully we can challenge them and give them a good run.

Ferrari’s race challenge is aided by the five-place grid penalty for Bottas, which means the Finn starts the race from ninth on the grid.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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