Formula 1

Vettel ‘Pretty Happy’ to Salvage Sixth in Monza Qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel was happy with sixth place in qualifying today at Monza after hisRed Bull has failed to match the pace of its rivals so far in this Italian Grand Prix weekend.

The reigning world champion will start the race from fifth, thanks to a five-place grid penalty for Paul di Resta.

Mark Webber, in the sister Red Bull, did not fare quite as well this afternoon. He was knocked out of qualifying in Q2, and will start from eleventh tomorrow.

“I’m pretty happy with the result; my last lap should have been a bit quicker, but whether it would have made a difference or not is hard to say,” said Vettel. “If you look from us to the front, the gaps are too big. All weekend we were not quick enough, so P6 is a very good place to be. Let’s see what we can do in the race, I think the pace tomorrow should be better.”

Webber was resigned to the fact that the team are just not quick enough this weekend, essentially saying that eleventh place was more or less what he was expecting from today’s qualifying session.

“It’s pretty much what we expected today,” said the Australian. “Seb and I were on the bubble there; it was very close between us – there’s only a tenth here and there and I’m out. No massive surprises. I’m eleventh, so we can have a bit of a choice on what we can do tonight, but I’d rather be further up the grid. We’ve got a bit of a slog tomorrow; but it’s Monza so never say never.”

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, is hopeful that the race pace of the RB8 will be better, and seemed almost thankful that F1 no longer visits any others that are so similar to Monza.

“It was a difficult qualifying for us today; we knew going in to this session that it was going to be tough,” he said. “We made it through Q1 without any pressure after Hulkenberg stopped early on. Unfortunately Mark missed the cut at the end of Q2 by the smallest of margins. Sebastian delivered a very good lap in Q3, to line up in sixth, which will become fifth for the starting grid tomorrow.

“Hopefully our race pace will be stronger than we’ve shown today and we can take the fight to the cars ahead of us. It’s a fairly unique track”.

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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