Sebastian Vettel felt that third place was possible had he been more aggressive at the final corner, but the Scuderia Ferrari driver will start fifth at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.
Vettel felt the pace of his SF16-H was much improved from Friday where the team appeared to struggle, and although the German felt Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team were a little out of reach, they were close in getting ahead of both of the Red Bull Racing drivers on Saturday.
“Today my last run in Q3 was not ideal: I think third position was possible, but I was probably a bit conservative around the last corner,” said Vettel. “All in all, though, I think it was a good session: the car was behaving well, but maybe in the end I could have pulled out a little bit more out of it. Yesterday on a single lap we were not particularly strong, we struggled a bit.”
With rain predicted on Sunday, Vettel remains confident that the team can continue to show that their race day pace is stronger than their qualifying pace, regardless of the conditions.
“I think that in the long run we were quite good: so for tomorrow, if it’s dry, we should be in reasonable shape,” said Vettel. “Mercedes looked very fast also yesterday in the long runs, so obviously we’ll try to stay with them but our main rival I guess will be Red Bull, which had similar pace to us today.
“In the race I think we’re usually a little bit faster, so hopefully we can get the job done tomorrow. If it rains it will be the first time for everyone this weekend: but it is what it is, I think we have enough rain tyres…”