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.