Sebastian Vettel secured a dramatic fiftieth career pole position with an excellent lap at the end of Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday, and he felt it was good to get a mistake-free run in when it mattered.
Max Verstappen had been the favourite to take pole after dominating in Q2, but Vettel had other ideas, quietly improving with every run, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver ultimately beating the Red Bull Racing driver by 0.086 seconds.
“Obviously I am really happy,” said Vettel. “I had a perfect lap in the end, even if the track here is difficult and very slippery. It is easy to make mistakes going over the limit here.
“But I thought to myself that if I could get T1 right, then I’d have a better chance. The last sector was also tricky because you know how easily you can go wide and lose a lot of time, but I managed to push and stay clean.
“So, I am really happy, especially because other cars were close and it’s nice to hold everybody off.”
Vettel felt the team made progress with their SF70H between Friday’s practice sessions and Saturday morning, and he believes the pace is there to have a strong race day at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, providing he gets a good launch off the line.
“Yesterday the car was not where we wanted to be, but today everything was ok, and I think tomorrow we’ll be quick enough,” said Vettel.
“Let’s see what happens at the start and after that we should have a good race. I know it’s a long way to Turn 1, but overall I am confident because our starts are good.
“Last weekend it was tough for the whole team because it went through of a lot of work and a lot of changes. This weekend has been better, I think we deserved to get the result today and hope to have a great race tomorrow!”