Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel admitted that he simply pushed too hard in his final qualifying run on Saturday afternoon at Le Castellet.
Vettel had experienced a lacklustre day on Friday, finishing both practice sessions in fifth place. At past events he’s been able to improve things overnight, but the loss of final practice to heavy rain meant that wasn’t possible this week.
Even so, he was just a tenth off Lewis Hamilton’s time in Q2 and believed that he still had a good chance to snatch pole position in the final top ten pole shoot-out round at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Sebastian Vettel went third fastest with his first Q3 run, and when the light drizzle that had plagued the session eased off he saw his chance to go for the top spot.
“After the first attempt I saw that we are maybe there,” he said afterwards. “I knew that maybe with really amazing lap I maybe had a chance. But it didn’t come. I tried to push everything in the last attempt,” he continued. “But looking back I pushed too hard. You try a little bit too much here and there, you lose the tyre, the car then it slides and you lose the line. You end up losing time rather than gaining,” he admitted. “It’s a difficult one to get the right balance.”
Sebastian Vettel ended up almost four tenths off Hamilton’s final pole position time. But even so, he felt that he had proved that the Ferrari had the pace to be a challenger in race trim.
“For tomorrow I think we have a good chance,” he insisted. “I’m happy because the car should be good in the race. It was a good session.”