The four-time world champion called on Ferrari to “clean up” in a number of areas ahead of Saturday’s running after struggling on Friday, and he duly qualified third on the grid. Having bounced back strongly, Vettel praised Ferrari for ensuring it got the best possible result having come under threat from Red Bull.
“It’s true we had a difficult day yesterday with something stopping us, slowing us down and it was difficult to get a feel for the car,” Vettel said. “So for today I’m glad that we found a direction. We took it a little bit easier, trying to build it up in FP3 which worked, then throughout qualifying I think the car kept coming to us, kept improving. So I think third is the maximum we could do today so we can be very, very happy, especially with the rough start to the weekend.”
While wanting to give Mercedes a hard time in the race, Vettel is wary of the threat posed by the likes of Williams and Red Bull.
“Who knows on this track, usually there’s a lot of things happening on Sunday so maybe we can do something against [Mercedes] but I expect a hard race with the people behind, the two Williams and the Red Bulls in particular.
“It’s a great race and a definitely want to win it – hopefully tomorrow– we’ll see with a bit of luck. Obviously in normal conditions it’s difficult to beat [Mercedes].
“We started off on a much better foot this morning and obviously were able to carry that into qualifying. We knew it will be tight, especially with Red Bulls as they showed very, very strong pace yesterday but we managed to stay ahead – so that’s good for today but for tomorrow obviously there’s a big job to be done.”