Having scored his fifty-first pole-position at the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has praised Scuderia Ferrari and is cautiously optimistic of a strong race result.
Vettel headed a Ferrari one-two in qualifying with a lap-time of 1:27.958, over a tenth-of-a-second quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. Despite losing track time in the final practice session with loose bodywork, the championship leader was pleased with the set-up of his SF71H.
“I think we have a good base and the car is working”, said Vettel. “We have improved in our work on the car.
“In the beginning it’s always a bit difficult, but now everything is getting better. So, it was nice to keep the car alive. I felt quite good from the start and made some progress during the session.
“I am very happy with the last laps I did, and also obviously with the result I got. I was really glad to see how the car was responding today. We worked on the setup and tried different things.”
At the previous race in Australia, Ferrari’s rivals Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport demonstrated a clear pace advantage, but on the smoother Bahrain International Circuit, Vettel suggests that Ferrari now fully understands their car.
“In Australia the track is tricky and bumpy, so it was difficult to change too much and draw any conclusions. But after the race and with the mileage we did, I think we understood the car better.
“It’s nice to see that we have built a very strong car and that today we are able to put it on the front row, beating everybody else. It’s been a great result that the whole team deserves. However, the ‘big day’ is tomorrow”.