Sebastian Vettel qualified tenth on the grid for the first-ever Sprint Qualifying race at Silverstone on Friday evening, but the German admitted he would have liked to have higher up the grid.
The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team racer lost his first lap time due to track limits in Q3 and then was unable to better his Q2 time on his second run, which left him slowest of the ten drivers who made it through.
Vettel says it was great to see the large crowd at Silverstone, but ultimately, he was not happy to be tenth on the grid, believing he had the car beneath him to get a few places better up the order.
“I would have liked to end Q3 higher up because the car has looked competitive and the pace came quite easily today,” said Vettel. “Overall, it was a decent session: I was happy with my best lap in Q2, but in Q3 I struggled to find more from the car. So I think we could have been a few places higher up.
“It was great to see the big crowd here today and I guess the new format made Friday more interesting for the fans.”
“P15 is not how we wanted to start our home event” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll was only fifteenth after struggling in the second Aston Martin, but the Canadian believes there is an opportunity to move forward during Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying race.
Stroll felt the team had made progress with his car between practice and Qualifying on Friday, but it was not enough for him to follow Vettel into the top ten.
However, he says Saturday’s practice session will hopefully help him set the car up better for the races so he can move forward on Saturday afternoon before charging for points in Sunday’s full-length British Grand Prix.
“P15 is not how we wanted to start our home event, but there is an opportunity to improve tomorrow thanks to the Sprint Race format,” said Stroll. “I was not totally comfortable in the car during practice, but I think we made some progress in qualifying, although it was not enough to make Q3.
“It was a challenge to only have one practice session today before qualifying, but it is the same for everyone. We will go away tonight and learn from today to make sure we maximise the second practice session before Sprint Qualifying.”