Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari should have been smarter with its strategy to avoid traffic at the end of Q1 after qualifying 17th for the Italian Grand Prix.
The final part of the first session saw a number of cars on track trying to create a gap to start their laps, aiming for a tow from the car in front. With some drivers jumping ahead of others on the run to Parabolica, it ended up with a situation where six cars were fighting into Turn 1 and all losing time, failing to improve, with Vettel eliminated after a poor first attempt at a timed lap.
“Not much to talk through,” Vettel said. “It was a mess. A lot of cars in the same bit of the track. So, where we were, where I was sent out, not much I could have done. I knew already at the start of the lap it was not going to happen.”
Although Vettel acknowledged many teams were involved in the squabble over track position, he says Ferrari’s strategy could have been different.
“I wasn’t the only one. There were other teams sending their car. Nobody wants to start the run and not finish it but yeah, we should have probably been a bit smarter.”
Teammate Charles Leclerc will start from 13th after Ferrari failed to qualify with a car in the top 10 at Monza for the first time since 1984. He is pessimistic about his chances of moving forward in the race, given a lack of power unit performance.
“Very difficult day, but it’s like this,” Leclerc said. “We knew beforehand Spa and Monza would be the two weekends for us that would be very difficult. We need to stay motivated; the race is tomorrow, but definitely will not be easy.
“It was very difficult yesterday with the race pace but we are going to give absolutely everything. The good start is always important but to keep the position is even more important. And I guess it is going to be very difficult for that second part. Not too much hope but let’s have a bit of optimism and we’ll give our best and see what we can do.”