Vettel admitted he expected to beat Red Bull in qualifying


Sebastian Vettel - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel was not happy with the result of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after ending up fifth fastest, with the German feeling that both Scuderia Ferrari drivers should have been able to qualify ahead of both Red Bull Racing drivers.

Vettel did manage to get ahead of Max Verstappen, but Daniel Ricciardo will start third ahead of both Ferrari drivers, with the German also ending behind team-mate Kimi Raikkonen for the eleventh time in the season.

“I’m not really happy with the result,” said Vettel. “I was struggling a bit with the balance of the car to start with. In the end it was good, but then in the last lap I had a bit of a messy last sector.

“I saw a bit of smoke from Verstappen ahead, enough to lose a bit of concentration. After this morning we were expecting a bit more, not really to fight the Mercedes, but to beat Red Bulls.

“I don’t think we were any slower, but we didn’t get the lap together when it mattered, probably we were a bit on the aggressive side trying to anticipate the track conditions.”

Vettel believes he should have an advantage on the Red Bull’s at the start as he will start with the Ultrasoft tyre compared to the Supersoft of Ricciardo and Verstappen, although he the feels Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team will be out of reach.

“For tomorrow it should be positive, for tonight it was a bit too much,” said Vettel. “Otherwise the car feels good, we managed to improve it today.

“Mercedes are a bit far away, but we hope to get ahead and be in front of Red Bulls tomorrow. We are on the softer compound, which should give us an advantage off the line and for the first lap.”