Sebastian Vettel said Red Bull’s qualifying strategy was partly in response to the threat from Ferrari this weekend.
Vettel used the medium tyre instead of the soft favoured by most of his rivals in Q3 but did not set a time on it after going off at the hairpin.
“I think we saw that some people are very fast especially the Mercedes and the Ferraris,” said Vettel after qualifying.
“Q2 wasn’t too bad, to be honest, we were able to split the Ferraris. They were very, very competitive all weekend on the soft, a different story on the [medium]. So we decided to obviously go a different direction. Whether that works or not we’ll see tomorrow.”
Vettel is optimistic his strategy will allow him to mount a challenge for victory despite starting ninth: “Obviously the soft tyres don’t last that long we saw that yesterday for everyone. Great on one lap but after that it’s not that nice. So the medium tyre seems a better race tyre, lasting quite well.
“We obviously have the possibility to still choose because we didn’t set a lap time at all but I think it’s pretty clear what we tried to achieve this afternoon.”
He said a brake problem was what caused him to go off during Q3: “I lost the brake pedal, I lost brake pressure and the pedal was very long.”
“I am not that tall so I didn’t have enough leg to keep on braking! I think there was something that broke.
“Yeah it was quite tricky when the car didn’t stop but the corner was coming. I locked the tyre but I checked it there’s no damage because there was very little load on the car. We’ll see but it doesn’t affect tomorrow.”
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