Sebastian Vettel will start the 2017 Australian GP from second place after finishing the qualifying session just behind Lewis Hamilton. Seb’s fastest lap in Q3 was nearly three-tenths of a second slower than Mercedes pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, but the four-times Formula One world champion felt he could have set a better time out on the track:
“I was not entirely happy with my lap. I was pretty happy with the end, maybe not so much with the opening of the lap, where we lost a bit too much, but I think Lewis did a very good lap so I don’t think – I would have loved to – but I don’t think pole was up for grabs this time. Tomorrow, I think we can do something in the race. As I said the car feels good, we’ve improved it, so the pace feels much better than yesterday when we had some practice.” – the German driver said, as reported by Italian national sports newspaper Corriere dello Sport.
“I think we have a good car, I think we are working well as a team, things are improving. We had a mixed day yesterday, but the confidence in the car was there from testing and I think we’ve showed it again today. It is been a big winter for us, a lot of change we’ve gone through as a team the last 12 months. And to the better, I think the team’s getting stronger, pushing very hard. I think people are fired up and we are motivated for tomorrow.” – Sebastian Vettel concluded.
On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen took encouragement from Scuderia Ferrari’s promising pace in qualifying despite the fact that he was out-qualified by both Mercedes drivers and his team mate, Sebastian Vettel. Kimi, who will start fourth on the grid, admitted he was disappointed with a “messy” Q3 after he “didn’t get any decent laps together” but believes the team are in good shape: “I mean obviously we need to put the lap together but apart from that we have a very good package for sure. We have work to be done but that’s the same for everybody.”
His team mate Sebastian Vettel qualified on the front row, just 0.268 seconds off pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen then pointed out the Albert Park track is not typical of many other venues on the F1 calendar so for the moment it is too soon to make a call on how they will perform at other circuits: “It’s a very special place here so let’s wait and see when we get to the normal circuits,” he said. “I think so far it’s OK. Obviously not an ideal day from my side but we go from here.” – Kimi added.