Vettel, Raikkonen disappointed as Ferrari struggles in USGP qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were left disappointed as Ferrari struggled in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas on Saturday, finishing over a second off the pole position lap time.

Ferrari currently ranks third in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship, but remains hopeful of breaking its winless run in 2016 and beating Red Bull to second in the final standings.

However, Raikkonen and Vettel were unable to jump ahead of either the Mercedes or Red Bull drivers in qualifying at the Circuit of The Americas, finishing fifth and sixth respectively in Q3.

Perhaps the most concerning statistic to come out of qualifying was that neither driver was able to finish within a second of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, suggesting Ferrari remains far away from its breakthrough victory in 2016.

“Obviously we cannot be pleased with where we finished today, looking at the time difference to the front,” Raikkonen said.

“We did what we could, but our position on the grid is far from ideal. This is the reality today and now we have to be stronger in the race.

“Tomorrow is going to be a long race, the long run was not too bad, so I expect the car we had today to be better tomorrow. For sure we are going to do our best and hopefully we are going to have a strong race.”

“Qualifying was not so good, hopefully the race will go better,” Vettel added.

“Surely we can try and look at different things, learn from today, go forward, and for sure we are not pleased with the gap to the cars ahead. It was not the best session for me: overall it was OK, the car felt fine, but in the end we were not just quick enough.

“For sure in Q3 I could have done a slightly better lap, but at the end of the day obviously we are missing a bit compared to the cars in front, so I think tomorrow could be a different day.

“For tomorrow we’ll see, there’s always a chance to outsmart the people but I think we have to react on the fly. The strategy is set for the beginning, in terms the tires to start the race with, but we kept some new tire sets, so we’ll see.

“It could be an interesting race: tire degradation is always important, it could be playing a big role tomorrow.”

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2:30pm ET on Sunday.