Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2016

Vettel still confident in Ferrari’s race pace

2016 Russian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel still believes Ferrari will have strong race pace despite being comfortably beaten by the Mercedes in qualifying.

Vettel was seven-tenths of a second slower than Rosberg in qualifying and will be moved back from second to seventh on the grid because of a gearbox change penalty.

However he denied Ferrari’s continued problems have become a source of frustration. “I’m not frustrated at all,” he said.

“Obviously it’s not nice if these things happen because they don’t make your life easier. But equally it’s part of racing, these things can happen. They didn’t happen on purpose, they weren’t planned, but I think we are pushing very hard, trying to catch up.”

“Which I think, especially in race pace we’ve proven already this year – obviously we didn’t have a properly clean race yet – but maybe we’ll have tomorrow, you never know. It’s a long race, it’s a long way, especially around here, there’s a lot of things that can happen.”

Vettel believes the team have got the most out of the car despite his stoppage during second practice yesterday. “I think from us it was the maximum,” he said.

“Obviously we benefit I think from what happened to Lewis. I’m not sure exactly what it was but it allowed us to go P2 which helps tomorrow with the penalty. We are a bit closer, starting on the clean side of the track. I think we can have a good race from there, should be quite exciting.”

“The car feels good and all weekend has been quite strong. Obviously we lost some time but I think we’ve made it up this morning.”

2016 Russian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Vettel still confident in Ferrari’s race pace”

  1. Well after watching qualifying today, and yet another unchallenged Merc pole, I feel kinda stupid – the old saying springs to mind, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results” so maybe I should skip qualifying in future, but here’s to still hoping it isn’t another unchallenged Merc win.

    1. with no one challenging Nico, there is only the incentive to help make it look like a good show. Don’t expect Nico to completely run away with it, even if Merc’s advantage is ridiculous at this round.

      1. You guys are totally missing the point if quali is about just who goes P1… There are other drivers fighting for position.

        1. It’s very difficult to stay excited about a best of the rest battle when that’s all we’ve seen since 2014, though. And this is coming from a die-hard fan.

    2. Russia is a power track and has been a safe haven for all Merc runners, that said as Williams and SFI struggle for budget we might not see them do that well this time around, anyway a Mercedes was always going to have their easiest race of the season in Sochi.

    3. Yes, but that phrase was coined before the computer was invented.

  2. Obviously

  3. I’m afraid I’m not so confident as him. He said Ferrari is within 0.1 sec reach but see how it pans out. They’re 1+ sec behind. I agree that race pace would be closer but I can’t see they outpace Mercedes at any chance, at least here.

    1. @eggry you are right but with cars position, we should have some nice battle between Ric, Vet and Ham at some point and eventually both Williams. This is what I am looking for anyway. I don’t expect anyone to worry Ros anyway…

    2. @eggry, it should be noted that the quote about Ferrari being a tenth of a second away was in reference to their performance on the soft tyre compound in the previous race in China – it seems that the context of that quote was lost when it was translated from Italian into English.

    3. @eggry anon said it all. I would also like to stress that, Shanghai is a fast track but also an aero track, and it’s in aero and tyre management that both RBR and ferrari seem to make up on Mercedes. The Mercedes always looks like a light car, nimble but not always that planted. I’m sure that the fact Sochi is low abrasion also helps negate Ferrari’s and RB’s strengths.

      1. Russia is also a track that is soft on tyres and needs a car that put more heat on them for a good qualy lap. Merc puts more heat on it’s tires. This can go against them in hard tracks or hot ones but on tracks like this it helps them put the proper heat on the tyre for a good qualy lap. Red Bull and Ferrari are softer on there tyres and along with a soft track it means they can get the tyre heat up as perfectly as Merc for that one lap.

  4. He kind of sounds like he’s in the ‘unfounded optimism’ mentality that Alonso had when he was driving for Ferrari. Optimistic to a fault.

    1. Maybe if Ferrari were given some sort of extra money from FOM they could use it to help develop the car so it’s faster ?

  5. Currently Rosberg is in uncharted territory and he may fail at any time. You better show some skills tomorrow bro ;)

  6. HAM’s luck is on “Massa Mode”, while Nico’s is on “Champ Mode”.
    But I think that this should change sooner rather than later, and some reliability problems can fall on Rosberg’s side of the garage.
    And…why not this Sunday?

    1. If Rosberg has a bad start and gets stuck behind others it maybe game on. Maybe a Bott as train for the 1st few laps?

    2. @oscar Massa is one of the luckiest f1 drivers in the past 20 years. You are right but you are forgetting that eventually Lewis is going to take penalties for PU components.

  7. If he gets Nico on start, game on… But if he does not… Nico is Champion this year. Kimi is yet again flapping around. Way back.

    They have a good chance of keeping Lewiz behind.

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