Vettel extremely disappointed to miss out on top ten (VIDEO)

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Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel made no secret of his disappointment on Saturday in Australia after failing to qualify inside the top ten for the first time since the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.

The German driver and his Red Bull team have struggled throughout pre-season, but appeared to be on the cusp of a revival after impressing during practice for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday. However, when rain began to fall throughout Q2, many drivers struggled in the slippery conditions. Vettel’s efforts were not helped by yellow flags after Kimi Raikkonen spun at turn four, forcing drivers to slow. Ultimately, he could only finish in 13th place.

“I think we have made a big step forward with the car, but of course I’m not happy that we didn’t make it to Q3,” Vettel said after qualifying. “I think the car is quick, but we struggled this afternoon with drivability which, in these conditions, made it even worse. The car seems good and Daniel did a very good job to be on the front row, so congratulations to him.”

Despite this setback, Vettel has faith in the ability of the RB10 car and is confident of scoring points in the race tomorrow.

“It’s going to be a long race tomorrow and reliability will be the most important thing to make it to the flag, but I think there will be lots of opportunities for us.”

The German driver is chasing an unprecedented tenth straight win this weekend, but from so far back on the grid and given the pace of the Mercedes car, it appears that his hopes of breaking Alberto Ascari’s record are all but over.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”