Sebastian Vettel admitted that the qualifying session for the United States Grand Prix did not go well for him or his Scuderia Ferrari team after being forced to settle for sixth on the grid at the Circuit of the Americas.
The German was disheartened to the gap to those in front of him, with Vettel’s best Q3 lap 1.359 seconds down on Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time, and 0.237 seconds down on team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who will start fifth.
“Qualifying was not so good, hopefully the race will go better,” said Vettel. “Surely we can try and look at different things, learn from today, go forward, and for sure we are not pleased with the gap to the cars ahead.
“It was not the best session for me: overall it was ok, the car felt fine, but in the end we were not just quick enough. For sure in Q3 I could have done a slightly better lap, but at the end of the day obviously we are missing a bit compared to the cars in front, so I think tomorrow could be a different day. Probably in my last lap I was a bit too aggressive.”
Vettel admits to being somewhat confused to why the team are not as competitive in the United States as they were last time out in Japan, and as such might need a clever strategy to get ahead of some of their rivals.
“There remains a bit of a question mark at this point, at least on why we were so competitive in fast corners in Suzuka and here we are missing out; but then again we are missing out across all sectors,” said Vettel. “For tomorrow we’ll see, there’s always a chance to outsmart the people but I think we have to react on the fly.
“The strategy is set for the beginning, in terms the tyres to start the race with, but we kept some new tyre sets, so we’ll see. It could be an interesting race: tyre degradation is always important, it could be playing a big role tomorrow.”