Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel admitted he took “a bit more risk” on his final qualifying lap at Suzuka, knowing Valtteri Bottas wasn’t going to threaten a potential front row slot.
The German managed to set the third fastest time in the session, but due to a gearbox penalty for Bottas, Vettel will start alongside pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the front row on Sunday. Sebastian Vettel, a four-time winner of the Japanese Grand Prix, is looking to cut the 34-point gap in the drivers’ championship, but the multiple world champion feels the prancing horse has lacked a bit of performance compared with Mercedes: “In the last run in Q3 I tried a bit more than there was. Valtteri wasn’t a threat, so I took a bit more risk, but it didn’t work. Still, I am happy with third and the front row tomorrow, the starts lately have been quite good. The car balance is getting better and better. We are lacking a bit of performance but the car should be a bit better in the race.” – the German driver explained, as reported by Italian national sports newspaper based in Rome Corriere dello Sport, at the end of the qualifying session ahead of the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix.
Despite the gap in qualifying trim, Sebastian Vettel remains optimistic of a stronger showing for Scuderia Ferrari in the race but concedes Mercedes is back to its normal performance after a below par weekend in Malaysia: “I don’t know which sort of pace they will have. They are a bit up and down, last week they weren’t very quick, this race back to normal. For us normally we are a bit stronger in the race compared to qualifying, so we get together and see what we can do at the start and during the race.” – Scuderia Ferrari’s German driver concluded.