Sebastian Vettel says he has enjoyed the unfamiliar weekend format at Silverstone so far, and he was happy to make up two places from his grid slot during Saturday afternoon’s Sprint Qualifying race.
The Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team racer admits he was a little bit disappointed not to finish seventh as he was unable to find a way ahead of Alpine F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso despite the Spaniard running with the soft Pirelli tyre compared to Vettel’s medium tyre.
But Vettel feels eighth gives him and Aston Martin a good chance of scoring points on Sunday, something that eluded him in both races at the Red Bull Ring.
“I have enjoyed this unusual weekend format so far,” said Vettel. “It was interesting to have the intense moment yesterday evening followed by the Sprint today, which can go either way.
“For us, it went well and we gained some places for the race tomorrow, and some others lost ground. Fernando [Alonso] made up a lot of places on lap one – starting on the Soft tyres – and I thought he would struggle more in the final laps. I was close behind him, but could not make the move to overtake.
“This result puts us in a decent starting position for tomorrow [P8], which will be a very different race with the strategy options.”
“I think we are still searching for the optimal car balance” – Lance Stroll
Team-mate Lance Stroll was able to gain one position from his starting position thanks to the incident that saw Sergio Pérez spin at Chapel, but the Canadian says he has still not found the ultimate car balance this weekend at Silverstone.
Stroll started fifteenth after a poor Qualifying performance on Friday evening but could only muster a fourteenth-place finish at the end of the seventeen laps of Sprint Qualifying.
Despite this, he hopes for his fortune to turn around on Sunday as he looks to fight for points, something he feels is possible from where he starts the Grand Prix.
“It was good to make up a little bit of ground in the Sprint, but I think we are still searching for the optimal car balance,” said Stroll. “It was challenging to make up any further places as the midfield bunched up and we ended up in a long train of cars.
“The positive is that the short race gives us more relevant data to go over and look to find the improvements we need.
“It is a long race tomorrow; anything can happen, plus the heat will be a factor, as well as the free choice of tyres, so I am looking forward to coming back stronger tomorrow.”