Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Sebastian Vettel expects 'very close race' with Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel expects 'very close race' with Red Bull Sebastian Vettel expects 'very close race' with Red Bull
Melinda Barton | 17 September, 2017, 07:55

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel put himself on pole position to retake the Formula One lead from Lewis Hamilton with a sensational late lap in Singapore Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday.

There was a flurry of activity when the session was restarted, with Vettel setting the fastest first and second sectors to go quickest with a 1m41.901s, 0.348s quicker than Verstappen. "I'm sure it will tighten up tomorrow but I think we can stay here".

It all started during the last grand prix when Hamilton's vehicle tyre pressure was slightly over the limit and since it came into notice they have been below par to say the least.

The Finn in particular has found life very tough at the Marina Bay street circuit, qualifying in P6 and a whopping 1.3 seconds behind pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel.

His impressive streak at the night race includes three straight wins from 2011-13 during his run of four straight F1 titles with former team Red Bull. "Since yesterday, we - at least myself - was nowhere near to the Red Bull; today, without some mistakes, we could have [both] been ahead of them".

"I should start sooner than later to finish ahead of them, as the season end is coming closer", he said. The vehicle was tricky but was getting better, better and better.

Daniel Ricciardo backed up his teammate's optimism, saying he feels Red Bull is in a good position to win with either of its drivers. "Then we come to the two hardest, here and Malaysia", Ricciardo observed. Below is the results from 2016 grand prix which goes to show Marina Bay circuit can be unpredictable and humidity and artificial lights providing different challenge than the eurpean tracks we might see a few surprising results here.

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest in the Renault while it was surprising to see both McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne make the top-10, eighth and ninth fastest respectively.

"It's a long lap - you gain a bit, you lose a bit, you kind of say I could've got more there - but I think the gap was, in the end, three or four tenths, it was quite significant". I will accept a little bit of defeat but I'm still confident we will get victory.

"I'm still full of adrenaline", said Vettel, who had placed only 11th in Friday's second practice.

Jolyon Palmer's future in the sport was cast in doubt here after it was confirmed that Carlos Sainz will replace him at Renault next season.

Force India were eliminated in Q2 with Sergio Perez finishing 12th fastest after complaining about his tyres. The second Haas of Kevin Magnussen was in 16th, followed by the two Williams of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll.