Sebastian Vettel admitted his fastest lap during Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix brought him closer to the pace of Lewis Hamilton than he was expecting to be, with his 1:33.347s just 0.239 seconds back on the Pole Position lap of his championship rival.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver had not expected to be challenging from the front row at the Circuit of The Americas, especially after seeing his mechanics completely change his chassis in between Friday afternoon’s Free Practice session and Saturday’s running.
“My final lap in Q3 was good enough for the front row,” said Vettel, “and in the end we got closer than we had expected.
“I am looking forward to the race, and then tomorrow we’ll see what we can do. The car is good and generally we have a better pace in racing, so it should be better tomorrow.
“Again, the team did a splendid job in rebuilding the car around a different chassis overnight and not even breaking the curfew!”
Vettel is looking to get a good start to get himself ahead of Hamilton, and despite starting off the preferred racing line, he feels he could have the opportunity to get ahead into turn one.
“For tomorrow we need a good start first of all and then we need to put pressure on our competitors,” said Vettel. “I’m not too concerned about starting on the less rubbered-in side of the track, as we’ve seen in the past here that you can attack.
“We have the car to do so and we can fight”.