Sebastian Vettel says Scuderia Ferrari now has to accept the consequences after the team made a costly qualifying error for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Both Ferrari drivers started Qualifying 3 on the intermediate tyres on as the Italian team felt the rain was expected to arrive early into the final shootout session.
But the rain didn’t arrive as predicted, leaving both Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen to come back into the pits for dry tyres. As they returned on track with everyone on their hotlaps, the rain arrived which left both cars struggling on a changing track.
Vettel found the changing conditions difficult as a mistake in Sector 2 compromised his time, leaving him down in ninth place for the session. He would later move up one place after Esteban Ocon was given a three place grid penalty for speeding under red flag conditions in Free Practice 3.
The German admitted that Ferrari asked whether they should gamble for the wet tyres, in which Vettel agreed on but later found out to be the wrong call.
“At the beginning of Q3, I was asked if it was ok for me to go out on Inters and I said yes,” said Vettel.
“Obviously, it was the wrong decision and now it’s easy to say, but it could have been the other way around. We thought there could have been more rain, but in the end it didn’t come.
“If it had rained five minutes before, it would have been a different story.”
Vettel’s title aspirations hangs on a thread as he lies 50 points away from championship leader and pole sitter for the Grand Prix at Suzuka, Lewis Hamilton.
Despite the disappointing grid position for the German, Vettel says Sunday is another day and hasn’t ruled out on an ‘impossible’ fightback through the field.
“It wasn’t our session in terms of timing and we’ve been through similar situations a couple of time so far. We are a team, so now we accept together the consequences,” added Vettel
“Tomorrow is another day, it won’t be easy as we start from the back, but it’s not impossible”.