Sebastian Vettel came within two-tenths of a second of beating Lewis Hamilton in qualifying but said he expected to do better.
“To be fair, when I woke up this morning and even after P3, I thought we would be a bit closer to the Mercedes than we actually were in qualifying,” said the Ferrari driver. “Unfortunately, they proved to be very strong.”
“They were doing two consecutive laps, they were not using all the energy in one lap, so we need to be careful as I think they will be very quick also tomorrow in the race. But we will try our best, we are here to fight, we have nothing to lose.”
Vettel told his team on the radio after qualifying he “tried everything” to improve on his final run. “I had to take more risk but it didn’t work. I was trying harder but I was just sliding a bit more.”
“I think there was another tenth, maybe, but two you’re already trying to be a bit greedy. I gave everything I had.”
Afterwards Vettel said he believes Ferrari will be closer to Mercedes in the race. “I hope that our race pace tomorrow is going to be as good as it looked yesterday,” he said, “obviously it is always difficult to know what other people are doing, but considering that we were on the harder tyre, on Friday we seemed to be very quick on the long runs.”
“I hope we can be quick tomorrow as well, and make the tyres last. I think this will be the key for the race because on paper it looks easy, but then, with all the sliding around from low grip surface, we’ve seen many people struggling to keep their tyres alive.”