Sebastian Vettel staved off a Power Unit replacement and early retirement concerns to secure a second place start in tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Within minutes of Q1 starting, with his involvement entirely the result of the team’s commitment to up get him on track in time, a radio message to “stop the car” appeared to signal his early departure from qualifying. But for the second time in a day, Scuderia Ferrari was able to resolve the issue and keep the German in the fight.
This commitment didn’t go unnoticed by Vettel who couldn’t believe such a turnaround was physically possible.
“I don’t know how the mechanics did it”, he said. “It’s a lot of work to put together.
“I want to say a big thanks to the team.”
A disrupted morning meant their running plan was thrown out of the window, but Vettel never lost hope in the car. He lost out on pole by a mere 0.051s, which he fully admits was due to an error he made.
“This morning we couldn’t do what we wanted to,” he continued. “We know the track and the car, and I know that it is working.
“In the end we could have got pole position, but I missed the apex at the chicane. I was a bit late and lost a bit of time there. But, overall, putting the car on the front row is a massive success.”
Even though Vettel is disappointed to have thrown pole away, he is confident that tomorrow can still go to plan and his championship lead can potentially be extended.
“I think we worked really well,” he added. “We realized that there was an issue and that we could fix it.
“Tomorrow, with the race rhythm, it will be fine, because when you get into the pace it is easier.
“A good start looks always good, so we’ll see, but I am confident for tomorrow and I always try to keep a smile”.