Sebastian Vettel believes he could have qualified his Red Bull in pole position for the first time this season in Singapore, had he got a clear lap in qualifying.
The high downforce Marina Bay Circuit plays down the significance of the underpowered Renault engine - the biggest weakness of the RB10. But Vettel couldn’t get his things right together in qualifying and finished three tenths down on Hamilton’s pole time of 1:45.681 to line up in fourth place.
“I’m not happy with that final lap,’’ the four time world champion reflected on his qualifying hour. “I was pushing a bit too hard and didn’t get it all together, so I’m not entirely happy, but it is what it is now. I think pole could have been in our grasp.”
However, with Red Bull having shown strong pace during race simulations on Friday, the German remains optimistic of a strong result
“We’ll hope to have a good race tomorrow, with good pit stops and a good strategy and we’ll see what we can do from there. I think we have good speed, but everyone seems to have good speed here. It’s a long race, so we’ll see how the tyres work and what we can do,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo suggests that he won’t be waiting to pick up the pieces of a probable clash between front row starters and championship rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Instead, he aims to stick a move around the Mercedes duo with raw pace.
“If the start goes okay then it’s about trying to be smart and doing something with the strategy. If I can get close, then I’ll have a go, I haven’t been shy doing that this year, but it’s difficult on a street circuit. It’s close to home here and it’s nice to see a few Aussie flags in the crowd. Hopefully we can get a podium result for them tomorrow.”