Spanish Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel could only manage P3 on Saturday, having been unable to convincingly challenge Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in Q3.
Vettel was the fastest man on track in the Q2 session, putting in an imperious 1:16.8 on the Soft tyre. Heading into Q3 and the expected ramp up in pace on the SuperSofts, instead Ferrari found themselves languishing P5 & P7 after the first runs. While both drivers had made errors, Sebastian Vettel said he felt unable to unlock the best of the Pirelli SuperSofts: “The car was fine and we didn’t have much to do. We were quite ok this morning, trying to find the right direction. It was straightforward in qualifying and then in Q3 during my first run I locked up a little bit in Turn 1, so my first sector was already slow. I tried to recover and fight for pole, but it was not enough. I didn’t have a great feeling on the tires, which have been different the whole weekend. Even if they look the same, they are harder. However, it’s the same for everyone.”
In his battle with Lewis Hamilton for the title, Vettel said that Sunday’s race is a long one, and that there’s every chance Ferrari can be stronger in the race:
“Obviously, I am not entirely happy, but we expected Mercedes to be very strong here. P3 is not a bad place to start from. Tomorrow we’ll focus on the start first, and then we’ll see. It will be a long race and the tires will be challenging, too. Even if the start doesn’t go in our favour, I think we always have a strong car to keep fighting. I think tomorrow it will be an interesting race and we’ll be close; the same as happened in the last couple of races. I’m looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix and hope the people will enjoy it.”