Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel believes that qualifying will largely dictate his chances of preventing Mercedes AMG Motorsport from taking a ninth consecutive win to start the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Issues with his gearbox left Vettel with only one timed lap in qualifying for the French Grand Prix last Saturday, and the German could only manage seventh as track conditions changed quickly.
His Saturday misfortunes limited him to fifth place in the race, as team-mate Charles Leclerc finished on the podium and threatened a late challenge on Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas‘s second place.
Vettel is keen to break his and Ferrari’s wait for a win in 2019, as well as take a first victory at the Red Bull Ring, and says that a good grid position will be the first target.
“It is difficult to get everything right on this track even though it’s a very short lap,” said Vettel.
“It is crucial to get a good qualifying position in order to have a good race.
“It is definitely one I want to win. We have been on the podium in the past, so now we will be back to try and win.”
The undulating and fast circuit in Spielberg is set in close proximity to the Styrian mountain range and provides a picturesque backdrop for the fans at the circuit and watching worldwide on television.
While Vettel remarked that the presence of cows can be a little peculiar, there is other wildlife to look out for – a deer made an on-track appearance in Friday practice back in 2001.
“Austria is a popular place with everyone in the paddock and all the drivers,” Vettel added.
“If you look at the scenery around the track, it is set in a unique landscape with mountains surrounding it.
“If you are lucky, you even see snow on some of the mountain peaks in the distance.
“Driving around there in a Formula 1 car and seeing cows next to the track is also something quite unusual.”