Ferrari’s new era got off to a good start in today’s qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix, as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth and fifth respectively.
However – in perhaps a sign of things to come – neither driver was completely pleased with their performance on Saturday, believing that Felipe Massa could have been beaten to third place behind the two Mercedes drivers.
Vettel will make his Ferrari debut on Sunday, and has set his sights on a podium finish after an impressive first qualifying session for the Italian team.
“Let’s keep our feet on the ground,” Vettel said. “So far this weekend, it’s gone well and we’ve had no problems with the car. It’s a shame that third place escaped us, as that would have made us the first team behind Mercedes, but it wasn’t by much and, after all the race is tomorrow.
“In terms of strategy, maybe we could have done something different, but basically the result is down to me. First and second are a long way in front, but the race is tomorrow and anything can happen during the Grand Prix.
“A podium? There’s not much of a gap between third and fourth on the grid, so I think the podium is a realistic goal and that’s what we have to aim for.”
After a disappointing 2014 season, P5 on the grid appears to be an incredible result for Raikkonen, but the Finn was not happy with his final display in Q3.
“On my quick lap, I lost around three tenths at turn 3 and then I made a couple of mistakes in the next two corners,” Raikkonen said. “We knew we couldn’t fight the Mercedes, at least not in today’s qualifying, but third place on the grid was possible.
“In any case, during free practice, we saw that our long runs are pretty good, so we can be confident of having a good race. All we need to do is get a good start and then give it our best, but I think we can fight for a good position.
“As a team, we are working well together and we have a pretty clear picture of the situation. We know we are quick, but we need to improve in all sectors and, as for myself, I have to drive better.”