Vettel relishing fight for Austria F1 victory in ‘phenomenal’ Ferrari

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Formula 1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel is confident of challenging for his first Austrian Grand Prix victory on Sunday, calling his Ferrari car “phenomenal” after qualifying second at the Red Bull Ring.

Vettel bounced back from a difficult Friday to top final practice on Saturday morning, and was just 0.042 seconds off pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas’ time for Mercedes, having lost his final run in Q3 due to yellow flags.

With F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton starting down in eighth after being hit with a grid penalty, Vettel is relishing an exciting race at the front of the pack as he bids to extend his 14-point advantage in the drivers’ standings.

“The car was really good, last qualifying also for the last run, but then it was a bit of anti-climax with the yellow flags,” Vettel said, reviewing his qualifying session.

“But yeah, very happy. It’s a great track, shame it’s a bit short but really enjoyable with a lot of high-speed corners.

“The car’s been really phenomenal so looking forward to tomorrow. I think we have to look after ourselves, do our own race.

“It will be a tough race with Valtteri. He’s been quick all weekend, also yesterday, setting a good pace, so we will see. I think it should be a good race.”

The Austrian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 7:30am ET on Sunday.