Perfect lap not enough for Sebastian Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel has admitted that not even a perfect lap would have been enough for him to claim pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver qualified second behind pole-sitter Nico Rosberg, and he congratulated his fellow countryman after the session today.

“Congratulations to Nico, he did a very strong lap. It was all his today,” Vettel said in the post-race press conference.

“I’m definitely not disappointed. When I crossed the line I saw I didn’t go first, saw second place on the screen and did not know how much was missing because my lap was fine.

Vettel, who has claimed 38 pole positions during his Formula One career, believes that Rosberg’s time was unbeatable.

“It was clear that even with a perfect lap I couldn’t have done it.”

Instead, the Red Bull driver appeared to be focusing on strategy, with tire management being highly important this weekend.

“I am very happy we managed to save some tires throughout qualifying.

“It will be all about tires and tire deg tomorrow once again. We will see what happens but it’s good to start from front row.”

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With Rosberg uncertain of his own race pace, Vettel is in a strong position to capitalize on any issues for Mercedes. However, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa starting 3rd and 4th, the defending world champion will have to race well if he is to win in Bahrain for a second time.

MORE: Watch the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet

Kubica, di Resta complete Williams F1 tests in Hungary

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Robert Kubica and Paul di Resta have both completed one-day tests for Williams in a 2014-spec Formula 1 car as part of the team’s evaluation for its 2018 line-up.

Williams is known to be considering a number of drivers to partner Lance Stroll at the team next year, including existing racer Felipe Massa.

Massa is thought to be going up against Kubica and di Resta for the 2018 drive, with the latter duo taking part in a private test at the Hungaroring in Budapest this week to aid the team’s evaluation.

After missing out on a 2018 Renault drive due to lingering questions about his physical condition six years after his rally accident, Kubica tested for Williams at Silverstone last week before getting back behind the wheel of the 2014 FW36 car in Hungary on Tuesday.

Kubica’s test was called “productive” by Williams, with the Pole handing duties over to Mercedes DTM racer di Resta on Wednesday.

Di Resta raced in F1 with Force India between 2010 and 2013 before returning to DTM, but made a surprise return at this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix with Williams when Massa was taken ill. Di Resta impressed on short notice, putting himself in contention for a full-time return to F1 in 2018.

Williams has one of the few remaining seats on offer in F1 for 2018, with Massa’s future known to be in question after a quiet campaign thus far.

The Brazilian had been due to retire from F1 at the end of last year, only for Williams to recall him after Valtteri Bottas’ late move up to Mercedes following Nico Rosberg’s surprise retirement.

Massa has made clear he would like to keep racing in F1 next year, but only if the deal is right and if Williams is determined to keep him.

While Massa, Kubica and di Resta appear to be the three leading contenders for the seat, Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe made clear in Japan there was a “large range” of drivers under consideration.

“You’ve probably seen a number of names that are floating around that we’re looking at, but honestly, the range is almost unlimited,” Lowe said.

“We will consider all ideas. We’re not in a super hurry to do so, and we’ll just make sure we land the best line-up we can.”