Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Vettel: Qualifying was “one of the better sessions” despite third Q2 exit

2020 Spanish Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says qualifying was one of his better sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend despite dropping out in Q2 for the third race this year.

The Ferrari driver missed the cut for the top 10 by just two-thousandths of a second. He said his car’s performance has been “very jumpy” throughout the weekend. “Some sessions are good, some are not. This afternoon actually was a little bit better, but certainly not good enough yet.”

Vettel has found it difficult to match team mate Charles Leclerc’s one-lap pace in the Ferrari in recent races.

“I struggled in particular in turn seven, losing the rear halfway, so it was difficult to judge how much speed to carry in,” Vettel explained. “Also turn five was very tricky for me this afternoon.

“So that’s the middle sector and in the last sector got better towards the end, but still very tricky to find the right balance.

“It was one of the better sessions this weekend. But still, obviously, not good enough.”

Qualifying 11th will give him the advantage of being able to start on new tyres, unlike the drivers ahead of him. However Vettel doubts he’ll be able to make significant progress.

“We are in that region for a reason,” he said. “I don’t think we have pace to really gain a lot of positions. But we’ll try everything to look forward and hopefully we’ll have a clean race.”

Vettel is yet to finish a race in the top five this year, while Leclerc has three top fours including two podium finishes. “I’m always managing to keep my head up, even though at the moment there’s not so much reason,” Vettel said. “We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

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9 comments on “Vettel: Qualifying was “one of the better sessions” despite third Q2 exit”

  1. This is a deja vu of 2014 season for Sebastian. That year Daniel Ricciardo beat Sebastian 11-3 in the races.

    1. @bulgarian Difference was that Seb was at least closer in terms of pace. He’s been upto 7-8 tenths off Leclerc at times this year which is just odd. Especially since while Leclerc was a bit faster on average last year it was not as much as he has been this year.

      1. You are right. Perhaps, Leclerc is only still improving, while Sebastian has shown everything he is capable.

  2. Well, it’s a little bit better for Vettel in as much as he wasn’t absolutely trounced by Leclerc and might have a tactical advantage with a free tyre choice for the start and he’ll line up directly behind Leclerc.

  3. Vettel’s season reminds me of Damon Hill in 1999. Former champion on his way out, a fast young teammate, no longer in a dominant car – and nothing seems to work any more.

    1. Frentzen was 32 in 99 and on his 6th full F1-season. I would hardly call him young.

      1. True, wouldn’t have thought. I recently read Hill’s book and he describes him that way. I guess it’s because Hill himself started F1 at a very late age, he was 32 in his first F1 season.

  4. Should really have got into Q3, he made so many mistakes on that lap that would otherwise have put him in the top 10.

  5. The in-car from that lap was very interesting, Seb’s a damn fine driver but the car seemed to be going where IT wanted to go.
    He should just take the rest of the year off with the wife and kids, enjoy life…

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