Chinese Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel said he “chickened” out on the brakes at the final corner during his last effort in Q3.
The German battled Lewis Hamilton for pole position, losing out on the top spot by just under two tenths and edging out Valtteri Bottas for the front row by just a thousandth of a second.
“I enjoyed it a lot, if we could have been a bit quicker at the end I would have enjoyed it more,” Vettel said.
“The last corner, maybe I lost a little bit and chickened onto the brakes too soon.
“Obviously it was very close with Valtteri, so a good job we just got enough margin to make it to the front row.
“There wasn’t much more I could have gained. So this result on a totally different track, with conditions significantly cooler than Melbourne, is definitely good news.
“In qualifying, we lack a bit and in the race it is a close match. In Australia, in the race, Lewis was struggling with tyres and us less.”
Rain is forecasted for Sunday but it remains unclear whether or it will arrive in time to affect the Grand Prix, but Vettel is confident his Ferrari will remain competitive in either circumstance.
“No matter what conditions are, the car is working so then we will try to do the fastest race.”
Ferrari have done the most testing of Pirelli’s new wet tyre with their mule car, whereas Lewis Hamilton is yet to run the new wet tyre at all despite an artificially wet day during Barcelona testing being available for teams to run the new rubber.