Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel praised the Maranello team’s progress as he led a front-row lockout for the team during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday. Seb claimed victory in the season-opening race in Australia but accepted he needed to improve his feeling with the SF71-H in order to suit his driving style.
The German driver entered qualifying without receiving his final one-lap simulation during final practice due to a suspected turbo issue, with Ferrari changing his Control Electronics as a precaution, his second of two permitted component usages this year. Vettel made an error exiting the final corner on his first run in Q3 but made amends on his second push lap to move ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Kimi Raikkonen was unable to respond, in turn sealing the 51st pole position of Vettel’s career, as he prepares for his 200th Formula 1 start on Sunday: “On the first run in Q3 I was very happy and then I tossed it away in the last corner.” – Sebastian Vettel said, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the qualifying session – “The car was excellent all weekend so far. I think Australia was more of a fight [and] I think we worked on the balance. We looked into quite a lot, we proved it yesterday, today, even though it’s not easy because we do the practice session when the sun is up and qualifying and the race is when the sun is down, but the car was responding so I’m very pleased.” – Scuderia Ferrari’s German driver concluded.
Sebastian Vettel’s best lap of 1’27”958 was good enough to secure the 51st pole position of his F1 career, his sixth with Scuderia Ferrari. He ran the Supersoft tyre. Right behind him came team-mate Kimi Raikkonen with a lap in 1’28”101, also using Supersofts. Tomorrow, the second race of the season gets underway at 18h10 local time (17h10 CET.)