Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari opted against running most of its upgrades at the French Grand Prix and puts his seventh place in qualifying down to inconsistency with his car.
Mercedes appeared to be the quickest car throughout the weekend but Ferrari was comfortably second with Red Bull struggling. However, Vettel aborted his first run in Q3 and then produced a poor lap to end up seventh on the grid, and says the car was unpredictable from lap-to-lap on Saturday.
“I am not happy with that and not happy to not extract the maximum today,” Vettel said. “I did not have a good feel for the car. It is the inconsistency that made it difficult. Some laps it felt really good, others didn’t.”
Explaining his aborted attempt, Vettel says it felt like the lap had faded too much to be worth completing, even though he had yet to set a time at the stage.
“I don’t know what happened but I lost so much momentum that there was no point to finish that lap. Not great — up and down. Some laps felt great, others didn’t. In the end I didn’t get the best out of the car, which is not satisfying but as I said it was difficult for me because some laps it was really good, it was coming and some laps, I don’t know why but I didn’t have the grip that I did on the runs before.
“It’s a shame that it happened in Q3 — it would have been better to be slower in the other segments but that is what it is today.”
Facing the need to fight back from the fourth row, Vettel says Ferrari will not be able to bank on performance from new parts, having not got them working at Paul Ricard.
“Well, we reverted on most of them so obviously not the step that we expected,” he said. “Tomorrow I think we have good pace to have a good race — obviously Mercedes is far away but we should be in the mix with Red Bull.”