Sebastian Vettel has explained how the fall in temperature ahead of qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday cost Ferrari a chance to fight for pole position.
Vettel was the fastest driver in the final free practice session on Saturday morning in Monaco, suggesting that he was capable of getting in the fight with the two Mercedes drivers for pole position.
However, he faded in the final part of qualifying thanks to falling temperatures, finishing eight-tenths of a second down on pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in third place.
“I’m generally happy with the result,” Vettel said. “I think it was a bit too cool for us today. I think everyone was struggling a bit with warming up the tires.
“It sounds surprising because it’s the super-softs, but I think it was a shame that the sun was hiding behind the clouds.
“Nevertheless, I think it was a good session for us, and P3 is a good place to start from tomorrow. Hopefully we can split the Mercedes and therefore have an exciting race tomorrow.”
Vettel admitted that he was slightly concerned in Q1 when Ferrari opted not to run him or teammate Kimi Raikkonen for a second time in the session, but believes that the team made the right decision.
“No, not completely calm!” Vettel said. “Obviously I knew roughly at the time that it should be fine, what we thought would be enough, but it was close.
“When you see yourself dropping down and the timer ticking away from you, you can’t really react and go out and have another run. it’s not nice but in the end it was okay for both of us.
“We did the right thing, targeted to prepare ourselves for the last part of qualifying. Unfortunately it was not enough to get really really close to them and put them under pressure, but tomorrow’s another day.”
F1 Countdown for the Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBCSN from 7am on Sunday, before switching over to NBC at 7:30am ET for the race.