Defending Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel believes that he could have been in the running to secure pole position in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix today, and feels disappointed to have finished fourth in the final session.
Vettel, a three-time winner of the race in Singapore, finished just over two-tenths of a second shy of polesitter Lewis Hamilton’s final time in Q3, and made no secret of his disappointment when speaking to the media following Saturday’s session.
“I’m not happy with that final lap, I was pushing a bit too hard and didn’t get it all together, so I’m not entirely happy, but it is what it is now,” the German driver said.
“I think pole could have been in our grasp. We’ll hope to have a good race tomorrow, with good pit stops and a good strategy and we’ll see what we can do from there.
“I think we have good speed, but everyone seems to have good speed here. It’s a long race, so we’ll see how the tires work and what we can do.”
Vettel’s title defence has been a tame one, yielding just two podium finishes and no race wins. He currently ranks sixth in the drivers’ championship, some sixty points adrift of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo who qualified third in Singapore today.
Despite Vettel’s distaste, team principal Christian Horner was delighted with the result and the close gap to Mercedes at the front of the field.
“Second row of the grid for both of the drivers in a really tight qualifying was a really strong team performance,” he said. “It was very close at the end and it was certainly the closest we’ve been to Mercedes in qualifying all year, so hopefully that bodes well for tomorrow’s race and we can put them under pressure.”
You can watch the Singapore Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow morning.