Pole Sitter Vettel Says ‘I could have been even faster’ in Qualifying

Virginia Santiago
June 11, 2018

The German started from pole position and never trailed on Sunday as he posted his third win in seven Formula One races this year and the 50th of his career.

This was far from the Mercedes' man's day, however, as the reigning champion, who qualified fourth, lost a spot to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo following a pit stop inside the opening third of the race.

Vettel admitted after qualifying he was "a passenger" during practice but says it felt "more natural" while driving his Ferrari in qualifying.

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At the other end of the spectrum, Ferrari regained the momentum in the championship battle, with Vettel turning a 14-point deficit to Hamilton into a one-point lead, while Ferrari closed the gap to leaders Mercedes to 17 points heading to the next race in France.

"I think after a long stretch Ferrari didn't win here, I saw people around and they were super happy".

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was second, in front of the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. The Briton has won the last three on the track that seems to suit the Mercedes auto with its heavy braking after long straightaways and tight chicanes.

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It means Hamilton is using an engine that has already completed six full races, while the majority of his rivals are are fresh units. Hamilton, who came into the weekend leading the championship standings, came in fifth. "I think we need a little bit more time to get everything together and then we'll see where we are". He and Ferrari executed their race to perfection, took the lead in the title race and have left Hamilton and Mercedes with much to consider before racing resumes in France in a fortnight.

Red Bull continued to suffer from lack of speed down the straights as they tried to put the pressure on Ferrari, but Vettel finished the session by knocking 12 milliseconds off his own best time.

Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari and Monaco victor Daniel Ricciardo are in the third row.

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"We were briefly talking about what we wanted to do, trying to figure everything out". Early on he told his team he was having "dropouts of power" from the auto, which was from the power unit running too hot in the first stint. Every single lap I was kind of on the edge just waiting for the power to drop away and disappear.

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