Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari’s performance on Friday at the British Grand Prix suggests it has a chance to beat Mercedes to pole position.
Mercedes has been on pole for the past five consecutive visits to Silverstone, stretching back as far as the V8 era when Lewis Hamilton started the run in 2013. While Ferrari has recently been somewhat off the pace on Fridays before showing more competitive performance on Saturdays, Vettel was quickest in FP2 and when asked if pole position is on the cards this weekend, he replied: “That would be nice.
“For a change it seems like a good Friday, but I hope you’re right.
“We try to kill their magic, obviously that’s what we have tried over the last years and I think here and there we have succeeded quite well. It’s true that they are very strong around here and we expect them to be very strong tomorrow, but I hope we can be there and I hope we can be close, that would be very good news.
“Historically it has not been a very strong track for us. But today has been a good start and hopefully we can improve tomorrow and kill their magic.”
With Ferrari bringing an update to Britain, Vettel says the initial signs were positive but plays down the overall performance gain that the new parts will provide.
“I think it’s difficult to say. We haven’t seen much yet, obviously we collect a lot of data but there isn’t much time between sessions [to analyze it]. Everything we put on the car seemed to work.
“It’s a small step in the right direction, but more important was that the balance was there right away and I felt a good rhythm from the start of the day. For a change we had a good Friday today and hopefully we can carry the momentum into tomorrow.”
With three DRS zones at Silverstone — including one on the run to the first corner that allows some teams to take Turn 1 with the DRS open — Vettel downplayed the significance in qualifying and is also unsure if the layout will have much influence in the race.
“Well, on one lap I think it’s the same for all of us. Probably it’s easier for us than the smaller teams and we will see in the race if it makes a difference. I think overall, it’s not going to change the world in my opinion. It’s more the new asphalt, the high temperatures and the amazing British summer. That is going to be the main challenge for all of us.”