Coming into Marina Bay, everyone in the F1 fraternity felt that Ferrari had the quicker car, the better package. However, despite that crucial advantage, Vettel and Raikkonen were not able to dish out a lap worthy enough of P2(let alone P1).
While Hamilton and Verstappen were ecstatic with their performance, Vettel was visibly frustrated with how things had panned out, underlining the fact that Ferrari had a messy qualifying, one where they just couldn’t find any rhythm.
Vettel also pointed out the mini races that were taking place during the out laps, as Mercedes and a lot of the other teams were going pretty slow during their out laps and Ferrari clearly wanted to go fast enough to get those tyres in perfect shape.
However, Vettel refused to blame those mini races as a reason for the qualifying mishap.
“It’s never ideal when you have mini races on the out lap but there were a lot of cars around. I can’t blame it on that, in the end we had two laps & they were both not good enough. I think we have a good race car. It’s a bit more difficult further back but I think we have” he said in the on-track interview.
Vettel: It’s never ideal when you have mini races on the out lap but there were a lot of cars around. I can’t blame it on that, in the end we had two laps & they were both not good enough. I think we have a good race car. It’s a bit more difficult further back but I think we have
— Sebastian Vettel #5 (@sebvettelnews) September 15, 2018
He was obviously quizzed about the gap to Hamilton, but admitted that he wasn’t quite worried about the gap in terms of car performance. Instead the issue was with how Ferrari managed the entire session.
“For sure I’m not happy with how the day went,” said Vettel.
“Qualifying for us wasn’t as smooth as it should have been, other people obviously have done better than us, and that’s why we’re third.
“I am not worried about the gap [to Hamilton], I don’t think it shows how strong we are. It’s just disappointing that we didn’t get the maximum out of our package.” he added.
He wanted to give Lewis the credit for dishing out such an amazing lap, but admitted that Ferrari weren’t quite up to the mark and could have done way better.
“We were hoping for more than third,” he said.
“Lewis had a good lap, and congratulations to him, but I don’t think it was unbeatable.
“The way we composed qualifying… it was difficult to get a rhythm, and I was struggling in Q1, Q2 and Q3. As I said before, other people did a better job – that’s including Lewis’s lap as an individual and them [Mercedes] as a team. It [third] is not what we wanted.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Lewis’s lap, but it’s clear that we could have done better. I don’t think there’s much point in going into detail… maybe preparing the lap for qualifying, but in the end I had the laps and they were not strong enough or good enough to be near.” he added.
He also spoke about the bizarre Ferrari strategy to run on ultrasofts during Q2, one that backfired big time, as they had to get those hypersofts on during the dying stages of Q2.
“It was clear what we tried to do and it didn’t work,” he concluded.