Vettel bounces back from Friday struggles to qualify third in Hungary

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Sebastian Vettel was pleased to bounce back from a rough Friday practice to qualify in third place for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel was sidelined for extended periods in Friday’s practice sessions due to an electrical issue on his Ferrari car.

Problems were not exclusive to his side of the garage, though, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen suffered a front wing failure in FP1 and a water leak in FP3.

This left Ferrari sweating on the reliability of its cars ahead of qualifying on Saturday afternoon, but Vettel was able to lead the team’s charge by qualifying third ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen, who finished fifth.

“We had a difficult day yesterday with some things stopping us and slowing us down,” Vettel said. “It was difficult to get a feel for the car.

“So for today, I’m glad we found direction. We took it a little bit easier, trying to build it up in FP3 which worked. Throughout qualifying the car kept coming to us and kept improving.”

Vettel believes that he could not have qualified any higher than third on the grid for the race on Sunday given the pace of the Mercedes drivers ahead.

However, the Hungarian Grand Prix is notorious for drama, giving the German some hope of fighting with the Silver Arrows on Sunday.

“Third was the maximum we could do today, so we can be very very happy, especially with the rough start to the weekend,” Vettel said.

“Now obviously we’re hoping for a good race. Who knows on this track, there’s usually a lot of things happening on Sunday.

“Maybe we can do something with these [Mercedes] guys, but I expect a tight race also with people behind to Williams and Red Bull in particular.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.