Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel described himself as “pretty happy” with the Maranello team’s SF71 during Japanese Grand Prix practice, though expressed concern over tyre usage.
Sebastian Vettel trails Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by 50 points with five Grands Prix remaining and was adrift of both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during practice at Suzuka. Hamilton led both sessions while Vettel finished the day in third position, with his best push lap eight-tenths behind his title opponent.
“I was pretty happy, I think it was pretty good,” he said – “Obviously it’s a monster lap and you always think there is a bit more here and there. I think we can still improve, and in the end we tried something with the car that managed to give us a bit of a better feeling, so let’s see if we can carry that in to tomorrow and find something else. I think we were sliding a little bit too much and when the temperatures go up blistering is caused by high temperatures. We were just sliding too much.” – he added.
Sebastian Vettel was also keen to play down his deficit to championship rival Hamilton: “I think we know what we were doing and I don’t think we were trying to do something different to other Fridays. We know what the car can do and we need to focus on that and try to get everything out to put us in the best possible position. If we can grasp pole tomorrow, that’s great, but if not we need to be there just right behind and see what happens. It’s a long weekend and today is only Friday. There is a little bit to squeeze out of the car and myself, I’m sure.” – Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel concluded, as reported by the British media earlier today.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth.