Sebastian Vettel is still hopeful of securing his third podium finish of the season at the German Grand Prix tomorrow despite qualifying down in sixth place at Hockenheim.
The German driver failed to match compatriot Nico Rosberg’s escapades, as the Mercedes driver clinched his fifth pole position of the season. Vettel lagged behind the two Williams drivers, McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Williams looks to be the team that is ‘best of the rest’ behind Mercedes, but Vettel thinks that Red Bull will have the edge over the 67 lap race tomorrow.
“To be honest, I think Williams didn’t look as competitive yesterday until they made a big step forward today, which was a bit of a surprise,” Vettel explained to reporters after qualifying. “But then again, the last couple of races they’ve been very strong so I think they will be very strong as well tomorrow.
“Generally, on race pace, I think we look a little bit better than in in the qualifying runs.”
The updates brought to the RB10 car and the Renault engine for this weekend’s race have not yielded the pace advantage Vettel expected, and he lamented a difficult qualifying session on Saturday.
“I don’t think as much a we hoped,” he said when asked whether the upgrades had been effective. “We had an update on the car but probably it didn’t bring us as much as it was supposed to.
“I think it [qualifying] was generally better than this morning, so was fairly happy. In the last run, we just didn’t seem to be able to go with the track and didn’t get a smooth lap, and didn’t improve.”