Sebastian Vettel believes there is no obvious pattern where he is losing out to Charles Leclerc after again being beaten by his team-mate in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.
Since Vettel took pole position in Canada, Leclerc has been the quicker Ferrari driver in every qualifying session and secured his fourth consecutive pole position in Sochi on Saturday. Acknowledging the recent trend, Vettel believes the pair have been more closely matched than the results suggest in recent races.
“Obviously in qualifying here and there (he has been better),” Vettel said. “I think we didn’t have the best sessions on my side. I think obviously today Charles was faster, so it’s pretty easy to see where he’s faster but it’s a little bit here and there. I don’t think there’s any pattern standing out, saying that he’s always faster in the same type of corner.
“As I said, obviously the last couple of races was closer than maybe it looked on the result so we will see what happens tomorrow. Usually come race day I’m getting more and more confident in the car and pace has never been a problem in the race so we will see what happens.”
And Vettel says he didn’t feel like he could extract the maximum performance from his car in qualifying in Russia as he ended up third behind Lewis Hamilton, but is confident he will be in the mix for back-to-back victories after his win in Singapore.
“I was quite happy in general,” Vettel said. “Obviously, a bit disruptive with Q1 where we got a bit unfortunate with yellow flags and stuff. I thought by the time we got to Q3 that was fine. I think overall I was pretty happy with the car. I just felt that there was more in the car that I couldn’t get to. Nevertheless, I think tomorrow is a long race. I think we have good pace for the race. It will be very interesting with the Mercedes on different tires to start with, so let’s see what happens.
“We need to wait until tomorrow. I think at the last race obviously it was difficult to pass. I think Mercedes was faster than us in the race, so we will see what happens tomorrow with different strategy.”