Sebastian Vettel called his first pole position for Ferrari “unbelievable” after ending Mercedes’ 23-race streak in qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday night.
After dominating proceedings in the final practice session earlier in the day, Vettel continued his good form through all three stages of qualifying en route to his first pole since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix when he was racing for Red Bull.
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg struggled to work with their tires throughout the session on Saturday, leaving them fifth and sixth on the grid and ending the team’s pole position streak one short of Williams’ record.
Speaking after the session, Vettel made no secret of his elation as he ended Ferrari’s three-year pole position drought.
“Unbelievable. I know it’s only Saturday and the main job is coming tomorrow, but I had to enjoy the moment when I heard that we made it,” Vettel said.
“It was looking pretty good from the outset of qualy, and actually from this morning to be fair. The car was fantastic to drive. It just got better through qualifying. I think we did get the maximum today and surprised by the margin but I think it just came together.
“I really had a near-perfect lap at the end, so I was very very happy with the laps I had today, and especially the last one. Around here it’s such a long, tricky lap and so easy to go in just a little bit too deep or a little bit too far, push it a little bit too much. It just seemed to come in the end.”
In spite of his success, Vettel refused to get ahead of himself, and believes that he will face a stiff challenge from Red Bull and Mercedes in the race on Sunday.
“Very happy, puts us in a great place for tomorrow, but as I said it’s only Saturday,” Vettel said. “The main job is coming tomorrow.
“I’m sure the Mercedes will be quick tomorrow, and the Red Bulls of course. Tough job tomorrow to do.”
The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.