Sebastian Vettel was naturally delighted to claim pole position for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix, with the German happy that his Scuderia Ferrari team were able to confirm their practice pace when it mattered in qualifying.
Vettel left it late to snatch pole out of the grasp of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, with the German denying the Finn by just 0.059 seconds, with both of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers behind them on the second row.
The German admitted that qualifying was not as straightforward as he would have hoped, especially after a not so clean run in Q2 and an untidy first run in Q3, but the pole, his first since Singapore in 2015 and the 47th of his career, was a good for the team.
“I think it’s just great,” said Vettel. “We had had a very good run also yesterday and this morning, and the car was phenomenal. So there’s no real secret to today’s result, it’s just the fact that if you get along with the car you find the rhythm and know what to expect.
“We knew it would be very tight against the Mercedes, it could have gone the other way, but I am very happy that we locked out the front row for the team. I had a good start to Qualifying, then in Q2 I lost a bit the rhythm. My first run in Q3 was not very tidy, so I left it to the last run.
“For us it’s so important as Mercedes had done an impeccable job in the last few years, so it’s great for the team and for me that we managed to break that. But now we’ll see what tomorrow brings. It’s a long race and we’ll try to confirm this result.”