Sebastian Vettel was content with third place in Formula 1 qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, believing Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to be “in a world of their own” on Saturday afternoon at Monza.
Vettel led Ferrari’s charge on Saturday, putting the team’s newly-upgraded power unit to good use by qualifying third ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
Despite locking out the second row for its home race, Ferrari was left some eight-tenths of a second adrift of pole-man Hamilton. Nevertheless, Vettel was pleased with his efforts.
“I wasn’t that happy with the first shot in Q3. I sort of lost the rhythm a bit, then was able to get it back,” Vettel explained.
“I had a good lap, then went on the limit on the last corner, I actually lost and was a bit late on throttle. I think the lap itself, after not a great start, not a great first sector, where we are still losing out compared to Q2, I brought it back in sectors two and three.”
Vettel admitted he felt disappointed by the gap to Mercedes, but conceded the Silver Arrows were unbeatable at Monza.
“Very happy for us to lock out the second row as a team,” Vettel said.
“Not entirely happy because the gap is quite big to those guys ahead. They were in a world of their own today.”
Vettel also paid tribute to the tens of thousands of Ferrari fans who filled the grandstands at Monza on Saturday.
“It is so great to see we have so much support. I think last year was already phenomenal and this year it seems so much better,” Vettel said.
“Every out lap you do, people stand up and wave, you see so many flags. The support we get around here is massive.
“Big thanks to everyone all around the track to the Tifosi. Hopefully we can give something back to them tomorrow.”
The Italian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.