Sebastian Vettel’s Russian Grand Prix weekend has gone from bad to worse on Saturday after he qualified down in 11th place for tomorrow’s race in Sochi, dropping out in Q2.
The German driver could not hook up a quick lap in the second part of qualifying, resulting in elimination at the end of the session as he missed out on a place in the top ten shootout.
Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo fared better, qualifying seventh, but Vettel felt that the changes made to the car following practice were to his detriment.
“I wasn’t comfortable in the car today,” Vettel explained. “It was very difficult, I think we took a step back from this morning and we expected the rear to be a lot stronger and the track to pick up more than it did.
“The car felt nervous, so I couldn’t take the speed into the corners, I lost the rear many times around the lap and therefore wasn’t quick enough.”
Both Vettel and Ricciardo will make up one position on the grid by virtue of Kevin Magnussen’s penalty, and team principal Christian Horner believes that the team’s race pace will put it in better stead tomorrow.
“A difficult session for both our divers, finishing what will become sixth and tenth,” he said. “We seem to have struggled to have one lap pace so far this weekend, hopefully our long runs have looked stronger and we can make some progress from those grid positions tomorrow.”
You can watch tomorrow’s Russian Grand Prix live from 6:30am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra.