Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2018

Hamilton’s Q3 surge surprised Vettel: “I don’t know what he did”

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel admitted Lewis Hamilton’s surge to pole position in the final stages of qualifying at Melbourne took him by surprise.

Vettel was just three-hundredths of a second behind Hamilton after their first runs in Q3. But Hamilton produced a dramatically quicker final lap to take the first pole position of 2018 by more than six-tenths of a second over the two Ferraris.

2018 Australian Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
The Ferrari driver estimated his car was capable of getting within “half a second” of the Mercedes’ time “providing that his lap was absolutely perfect.”

“I don’t know what he did to find that much time, maybe he didn’t wake up until the end.

“But overall I’m pretty happy. It wasn’t very good yesterday, today was a lot better. I’m quite happy that we put the cars right at the front, very close to pole. That gives us a good shot.”

“The last four years everyone’s been closer to Mercedes in the race than in qualifying so hope on that,” Vettel added.

He said he wasn’t too concerned about losing his place on the front row to team mate Kimi Raikkonen with their final runs in qualifying.

“In the end I had a tiny mistake in the last sector. But it doesn’t matter, second or third, we got it for the team. Obviously it’s a good position to be in and hopefully we can keep the pressure up tomorrow.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2018 Australian Grand Prix, 2018 F1 season

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  • 20 comments on “Hamilton’s Q3 surge surprised Vettel: “I don’t know what he did””

    1. Seb should be worried about not starting on the front, he has Max next to him. And the last 2 times they started next to each other (Singapore & Mexico), we all know what happened.

      1. Thats what you get when you falling in love..
        You will have children ..and half second slower.

        1. Thats is indeed an advantage of Hamilton having a boyfriend and having a Blue Oyster Bar party mode…..gains him half a second. Eeeeeeeeew.

    2. I really hope that Ferrari can drastically improve as the season goes on. They are the only hope of stopping another boring year of Mercedes dominance. Red Bull will never be title contenders in this engine era.

      1. Ferrari have never improved as the season has progressed instead this team has a histroy of retrogress in terms of car development. Just look at last season as well, 1st half they were(with just 1 car) wheel to wheel with silver arrows and 2nd half all down hill.

      2. My goodness, you cant be that bitter on every post. I’m surprised you didn’t mention ‘decline in viewership’ this time lol. If I were you, I’d stop watching F1 until 2020 cos this is going to be regular viewing.

        I know it hurts warching Merc dominate but we’ve all had to endure such (in silence) during RBR and Ferrari eras.

        1. @lums
          Oh yes the deafening silence during the RBR and Ferrari years. Remember those days of dominance when every F1 fan was the absolute soul of patience and constraint. Angels personified they were.

        2. @lums

          The most entertaining years were when McLaren had a thereabouts top car and always went out of their way to have driver pairings where sparks could fly.
          Ron Dennis relished this and seemed to be the only team boss who could pull it off. He still left a legacy of talent at McLaren ready to dominate if Honda had produced magic.

    3. Seems they gave him Hamilton mode Seb…

      1. Agreed. That was Hamilton hooking the tyres up and driving a great lap. He was easily faster than Bottas so its the Hamilton Merc package not both Merc drivers. With the new tyre compounds I will not be surprised to see every weekend that someone just hooks up a crazy fast lap.

        1. Agree. Hamilton pushed just to the finest part of the edge. Bottas went over the rougher part of the edge.

      2. You’re right. HAM nailed it, VET did not. I think the gap is more like 0.3 sec between Mercedes and Ferrari. Start tomorrow could be crazy with VER and Haas trying to get to the front.

        1. That would be 0.3 with possibly a slighy better quali mode on 1 lap. Race could be really close.

    4. Hear, hear! And the finger!!!

    5. If majority of us know what Lewis did it’s quite odd that Seb doesn’t…

    6. For me this is the reason why Bottas crashed. I think MB opened the party mode in Q2 and not in Q3 than some say (Hamilton himself said in Q3 there wasn’t any special extra from the engine and Toto said about the party mode but he didn’t said when that mode went on), so Bottas started his flying lap with it and he gathered more speed to turn 1 and we saw the end of it.
      Its a thought that i have but the only way to prove it is by comparison of Bottas braking point and what klms had in that point the whole weekend.
      If he lost his braking point then what i say is wrong but if he braked exactly in the same spot the maybe i stand correct.

      1. Bottas’ problem regardless of mode settings… he hit the curb hard, and bumped his car to outward! got the tyres grip off grass, instead of lifting off, with little grip he put the pedal to the floor and in a corner without grip and full throttle… u know what can go wrong…

    7. Carlos Furtado das Neves
      24th March 2018, 15:17

      Ferrari needs a “banzai mode”…

    8. I feel like no one watched qualfying. Hamilton’s first run in q3 was done on the same tires that he went out on before bottas’ crash. Plus, he made a mistake in the last two corners. So it’s not like the time wasn’t there, he just didn’t get it on the first run. That’s why it’s such a suprise

    9. Not in line with the rest, but I was impressed with HAAS. There might be some surprises.

    Comments are closed.