Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo finished qualifying just over a tenth of a second apart, but with the session being ultra-competitive, that meant the German will start sixth and the Australian ninth for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
After just about scraping into the second part of qualifying, Vettel’s session got better and better, and the four-time World Drivers’ Champion ended up qualifying in sixth position, and believes he is in a promising position for the race, although he feels it will be hard to compete with the Mercedes and Williams team’s.
“I got happier with the car as qualifying progressed and we’re in a solid position to start the race tomorrow,” said Vettel. “It’s hard to beat the Mercedes and Williams from where we are, but this is Brazil and anything can happen; weather can play a big role, it was supposed to rain today and it didn’t, but that’s Interlagos for you.”
Ricciardo had shown top five pace for the majority of the weekend, but found himself languishing down in ninth place in the all-important qualifying session. He hopes the pace that went astray during Saturday will reappear on Sunday so he can have a better race.
”The day was going alright up until qualifying and then we lost a lot of pace,” revealed Ricciardo. “I went out quite early in Q1 and there was a bit of stuff on the track, so I thought it would get better and better but we didn’t find the pace we were after. I was surprised to get into Q3 after my lap in Q2. I felt better in Q3, but I was only a tenth or so faster; it’s bit frustrating.
“We should have finished better than ninth, we hoped to be in the top five after the pace we had in practice, but hopefully the car will be better in the race.”