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Vettel confident of a positive Sunday

NEWS STORY
12/06/2016

Having looked to be losing ground to Red Bull on Friday, Ferrari got its act together yesterday, with Sebastian Vettel taking third on the grid, just 0.178s off Lewis Hamilton's pole-time. Was pole possible or was third the best that could realistically be expected?

"It was far not far off," the German told the official F1 website. "I think in the chicane after the long straight I was a bit early on the brakes, and then the timing is not right any more. We are probably speaking about half-a-tenth.

"And I didn't get out of the switchback ideally," he adds, "as I was accelerating a bit too early which caused some wheelspin.

"And there you have it, nothing major, but little things do add up. But my guess is that even with a clear lap, it would not have worked for pole position.

"I was a bit disappointed as I was hoping to give the two Mercedes a hard time today," he admitted. "But that's all water under the bridge now and the real good news is that the car felt great."

So, is the new turbo making a difference?

"Yes, it delivered the expected," he admits, "not only for today. We also expect a bit of extra boost in the race. But let's wait and see."

The Ferrari driver was one of several to 'kiss' the infamous Wall of Champions.

"I have managed to 'make contact' every year and this afternoon it dawned on me that this is qualifying and tomorrow is the race, and as I don't want it to happen in the race - in the rain - I told myself to quickly deal with it in qualifying!

"That's a joke," he adds. "If you throw everything into a lap these things happen. It is always a question of how you come out again of such a situation.

"It is a brutal track. You have to go over the kerbs pretty ruthlessly. And if things work out the way you had hoped, it feels superb - and that was pretty much the case today - except the braking too early and the wheelspin.

I hope that we can take that overall good feeling into the race. When the conditions get mad, we've seen in the past mad races, and I am ready to ride it out!"

Asked about the prospect of a wet race, he says: "I think I was reading that statistically the chances rise for everybody when it is wet, as unforeseen things can happen. But this obviously goes for more than just one team!

"I think we can be confident, as the car has been running smoothly all weekend and from yesterday to today we've been able to make another step forward.

"So rain does make interesting races but it is not something that we have to bank on to get a good result. Hopefully. I am very positive... come rain or shine.

Finally, the German was caught, and ticked off, for paying a little bit too much attention to Hamilton's car in parc ferme.

"Yes, because you hardly have the chance to get so close to it," he admits. "The steward told me that I cannot look so intensely and I replied: 'I do what I want'.

"That probably sounded a bit arrogant, but was not intended to be. I was just curious. I am no engineer, so it was just a look of interest - and it was easier to have a look there than sneaking into the Mercedes garage!"

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