Sebastian Vettel admitted to being both disappointed and baffled to be out-qualified by both Red Bull’s for the Malaysian Grand Prix, and believes that the team should have locked out the second row rather than the third.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver will start fifth at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday, but was less than two-tenths of a second from jumping both Red Bull drivers.
“We expected it to be tight, but we thought that we could have the upper hand in the end,” said Vettel. “So I am disappointed to see both Red Bulls in front of us, but they were just a bit quicker.
“There was not a lot missing, but just enough, just over a tenth. We need to have a look into our data and see if we can pick it up later… In the end, we were hoping to be one row higher up, so in second, right behind the Mercedes.”
Vettel expects a better race on Sunday after feeling the team’s long run pace is better, and believes there is room to play with the strategy, especially with Pirelli insisting everyone needs to use the Hard compound tyre during the race.
“But for the race, nevertheless, we should have a good speed: the strategy will also be important tomorrow,” said Vettel. “There is a bit of room for manoeuvre, as everybody has to use the harder tire, which might make it interesting.
“And then there is also the fact that we are in Malaysia, so there might be some rain, or just the heat as a factor.”