Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2018

Vettel relieved to avoid starting on hyper-softs

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Sebastian Vettel says he was pleased to avoid having to start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the hyper-soft tyre after qualifying on the ultra-soft.

The Ferrari driver risked a second run on the ultra-soft tyres in Q2 and was able to set a time good enough for the top 10, meaning he will start the race on the harder tyres. Vettel said this was important as Friday’s running showed the hyper-soft isn’t durable enough for a race stint.

“Yesterday we tried everything and obviously for us the hyper-soft didn’t last so long,” said Vettel. “So we were quite confident that it’s not the race tyre, not the tyre we want to start the race on. Other people obviously had the same opinion.”

When he was asked which tyre compound he wanted for his second run in Q2, Vettel told his team he could find another 0.4 seconds on the ultra-soft. “I knew in the second run that I had some lap time to gain,” he said.

“I was held up a little bit in traffic on the first lap and I knew it will be tight but I really wanted to start on that tyre. That’s why I was happy to take that risk.”

Vettel’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen will start on the same compound, as will the Mercedes drivers and Daniel Ricciardo. The only one of the six front-running drivers who will start on hyper-softs is Max Verstappen.

Vettel said his car was better-balanced in qualifying than it had been on Friday.

“The car felt a bit better today,” he said. “Probably the track came towards us as well.

“Usually throughout qualifying the track improves and you start to feel happier with the car. So I think we estimated the right direction and were able to follow the trend.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

3 comments on “Vettel relieved to avoid starting on hyper-softs”

  1. Verstappen as the only HS-starter out of the top-6 will, of course, have the grip-advantage over the rest of the top runners on the start, so it’ll be interesting to see whether he can use that to his advantage or not. Then, on the other hand, though, his scheduled pit stop is naturally going to become a necessity sooner than with the other top runners, meaning that the initial grip advantage is going to shift to the drivers with a step harder rubber lap-by-lap until the pit-stop phase.

    1. Not sure how much he can do from 6th on slightly grippier tyres.
      And then his PU will not give him a lot of options to defend on the straights.

      But it would not be the first time that he makes a softer tyre last longer than the harder ones on the other cars.

  2. He will try, but HS are too fragile, don’t see Ver making them last beyond lap 10-12.

Comments are closed.