Sebastian Vettel believes that he did not deserve to qualify any higher than fourth for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday after making a mistake on his final qualifying lap.
Vettel had been tipped to fight Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg for pole position in Shanghai as Ferrari enjoyed the rule of second practice and the early part of Q3.
However, the German driver’s solitary lap in the final stage of qualifying was scruffy, with a mistake at the hairpin leaving him in fourth place for tomorrow’s race.
Speaking to NBCSN after the session, Vettel said that he did not deserve to start any higher than fourth on the grid given his performance in qualifying.
“[In] all honesty, after the lap that I had in the end, no, I don’t think I deserved to be in the top three,” Vettel said.
“I wasn’t doing a good job. The car was good enough, P2 was there, but I just had a bad lap at the end.”
Vettel does not think that he could have matched the pace of Nico Rosberg in Q3 as the Mercedes driver took his first pole of the season in China.
“In all honesty I think Nico’s lap was very strong in the end, so probably not,” Vettel said when asked if he could have scored pole.
“And also that they improved a lot in the last sector, about four-tenths in the last run, I think hints at the fact they were able to turn it up. So I think they had it in their pocket all throughout qualifying.
“Nevertheless, qualifying is over, I’m not where I wanted to be, that’s how it goes sometimes. The race is tomorrow. I think we have a strong car so we can have a strong performance tomorrow.”
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.