Vettel says he expected McLaren to be quicker

2011 Korean Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Korea, 2011

Vettel was beaten to pole by Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel said he expected McLaren to be quicker than them in qualifying.

But he believes Red Bull’s strategy of not using the soft tyres in qualifying will help them in the race.

Speaking in the press conference he said: “To be honest I think McLaren looked very competitive yesterday.

“I know the conditions were completely different but you could see that they were a fair chunk ahead of everyone including us, as well as this morning in the dry. They looked extremely quick.

“I think once again we pushed them very hard in qualifying and got very close – I think closer than they expected and probably closer than we expected in some regards, so I think we did a very good job in qualifying.

“Also, we saved all our prime tyres which I think will be crucial for tomorrow. Obviously we had only a rough idea this morning with a little bit more fuel in the car so we could be in a good position.”

Vettel said tyre wear will be “crucial” in the race: “Jenson did a very good job last race in particular so I think that again will be very important tomorrow.”

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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28 comments on Vettel says he expected McLaren to be quicker

  1. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 15th October 2011, 8:14

    Well, he expected them to be quicker, but only one of them was.

  2. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 15th October 2011, 8:17

    I think Seb had a tenth still in the bag despite being held up by Di Resta but looking at the nature of the Track & referring back to McLaren’s Suzuka Performance,I agree with Seb on that but RB do have the better Race Strategies if im right(3 New sets of Options).

    Fascinating race to be seen,Cant wait!!!

  3. Eggry (@eggry) said on 15th October 2011, 8:19

    so this time Red bull would like to kick Mclaren’s ass in the race? Interesting. I think Button will be very important role in Vettel-Ham battle. and don’t forget Ferrari and Mercedes have had stunning starts!

  4. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 15th October 2011, 8:20

    I think this was coming for quite some time now. McLaren was the fastest car in Suzuka too

  5. Tyson Evans (@bobtehblob) said on 15th October 2011, 8:26

    I think Button might be a bit of a sleeper this race. Wasn’t to far off Hamilton pace wise, and he always looks after the tyres better.

    One things certain, the race is going to be decided on tyres more so then anything else for sure!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2011, 8:34

      It might be interesting for Hamilton going fast from the start, Button waiting a bit to conserve the tyres for that one or two lap extra and Vettel going for a slightly different strategy using longer runs on the soft tyres.

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 15th October 2011, 8:50

      I guess BUtton can win the race if Vettel and Hamilton get caught up in a fight or if he can get ahead at the start. I see quite a chance for the two McLarens to lead after the first corner. The only chance I see for Hamilton to win is if he can run away with the lead. But thats just a guess, who knows how the tyres will perform tomorrow.

  6. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 15th October 2011, 8:46

    its just that mclaren delivers a stunning car just a little late.

    • Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 15th October 2011, 9:01

      In all fairness to Macca, and this subject was beaten to death at the beginning of the season. (Why did they build this piece of rubbish?) It was a completely new design, now they have a platform that they can build on next season. With all the testing limits, I think they have done a good job to get the car up front.

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 15th October 2011, 8:47

    Superb ******** by Vettel, they have more sets of the slow tyre so watchout.

  8. Fixy (@fixy) said on 15th October 2011, 10:28

    I was more suprised after the initial Q3 run than after the second. Vettel clearly tried to take pole, and this shows how fast McLaren, and Hamilton, were.

  9. nemo87 (@nemo87) said on 15th October 2011, 11:14

    of course you did seb..

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2011, 12:12

      He would have expected a Macca front row lockout, but still split them.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th October 2011, 20:59

      @nemo87 It’s not that unbelievable if you think about it. Button was all over Suzuka, even throughout practice and with those 2 generous straights in Korea it’s not really a surprise that Vettel might feel more threatened than usual.

  10. John H (@john-h) said on 15th October 2011, 12:38

    Now that they have the WDC, there’s a chance that Red Bull have now taken something dodgy off the car. I might be way of the mark, but it just seems strange that they don’t have that 1 second (or more) qualifying advantage to the field (and I’m not just talking about to McLaren here).

    Why else would they be so convinced that McLaren would be faster? Horner completely expected it in his post-qualifying interview – but why only in these last two races? Ferrari were as quick as them at Japan. It just doesn’t add up.

    By the way, the banning of EBDs will have a massive effect on McLaren so I’m not so confident they will be starting 2012 where they look to be leaving off this year.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 15th October 2011, 19:37

      Red Bull have not had a 1 second qualifying advantage for a long time, probably not even all season. I can’t help but feel disappointed that a regular F1Fanatic would really think Red Bull have had such an advantage, and only because of “something dodgy”.

      Perhaps RB were convinced Mclaren were faster because of last weekend and the free practices this weekend?

  11. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th October 2011, 21:02

    Now, if Vettel or Webber manage to take a win based purely on strategy that will really rub plenty of people up the wrong way!

    I think that would be a wonderful way for them to bounce back and I would love to see how this strategy pans out.

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