Sebastian Vettel believes that qualifying in third place for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix was the best that he could do during today’s session at Spa-Francorchamps.
The defending F1 world champion will start behind the two Mercedes drivers for the race tomorrow after running well in the wet conditions, but he does not feel that he could have made up the two second gap to pole sitter Nico Rosberg.
“Well I think it would be nice to be further up, but obviously the gap is quite big, so I think it was the best we could do today,” Vettel conceded. “It was a tricky qualifying, especially Q2 looked very tight for us, so trying to stay out on the same set of tires, it started to rain heavier.
“I was quite confident that the track would get quicker and I wanted to save that extra set for Q3, so it was quite tight. I got the lap in the end because the circuit did pick up, and in Q3 I was able to use an old set of tires. It was obviously very tight behind the Mercedes.
“It was tricky out there, especially through Eau Rouge, so I had a couple of moments, but it was a good challenge and, for sure, happy with third.”
Vettel will line up ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, and will be hoping to cut the gap to both drivers in the championship with a good result in the race tomorrow. However, it would seem that his aspirations of a first win of the season at Spa may be a little unrealistic given Mercedes’ dominant pace in both dry and wet conditions.
Chief technical officer Adrian Newey did say yesterday that this weekend is about “damage limitation” for Red Bull, but with its cars third and fifth on the grid, a good haul of points may not be so improbable.