Sebastian Vettel felt he could have pushed harder during qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, believing he had misjudged the grip levels as the track dried out.
A rain shower at the end of the second phase of qualifying saw drivers start the final segment on intermediate Pirelli tyres, but the track dried quickly to allow late running on the slicks, but Vettel felt he could have pushed harder during his final lap that he felt could have finished higher than fourth.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver will drop to ninth on the grid for the race following a penalty for a gearbox change, but is looking for a strong race on Sunday, with the German set to start on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre.
“The car was very good, very strong all day,” said Vettel. “I don’t think anything was missing, the only thing missing was time. 4th place is ok, puts us to 9th tomorrow, but it’s not ideal because it all came down to the last lap.
“The track was surprisingly dry, maybe drier than I expected, with hindsight I should have taken more risks. It didn’t come down to the pace, or the car, it came down to the driver, and the three drivers that were in front of me took more risks. The later you crossed the line, the better it was.
“For tomorrow everything can happen, maybe there will be some rain, it will be significantly cooler and it will matter how you look after the tyres. We are in a good place and it is a shame for the result, because I thought it could be a good session today. The car was really good to drive and I thought we could be closer to the top.
“About the kerbs, it’s clear that you’d better not touch them, and I think for next year we need to find a solution, but for tomorrow there’s nothing that can be done.”