Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel believes that he can fight for victory in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix, after putting his SF15-T on the front row of the grid.
The four time World Champion finished just 0.074 seconds shy of Lewis Hamilton’s pole-sitting Mercedes in a rain-hit qualifying session at the Sepang International Circuit.
“I think yes,” said Vettel, when asked if he can win today’s 56 lap race.
“As you saw today, there’s rain in the air. If it hits the track in the right moment for you it can be quite good, but it can also work against you. The pace looks decent, but we also have to be realistic. Mercedes has an advantage, which didn’t just disappear. Maybe it wasn’t that obvious, but it’s still there.”
The German’s qualifying efforts gave the Scuderia its first front row start in two years, stretching back to when Felipe Massa overcame similar weather conditions in Malaysia in 2013.
“Maybe it’s just the conditions of the track, the heat, which seemed to come a little bit our way,” Vettel mused.
“Hopefully we can keep that trend up. It will be very tight, and it would be nice to give [Mercedes] a hard time, I think it has been a bit too chilled for them for the past couple of months.”
On the other side of the garage team mate Kimi Räikkönen will start in 11th place after the Finn failed to make it out of Q2 after getting caught up behind the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson during the mad dash to post a lap time before the heavens opened.
“It’s not ideal, but there’s not much I can do,” Raikkonen rued after qualifying.
“There’s always a chance to have a difficult time in the first few corners when you are out of the place, and it takes some good chances away.”
Images via XPB Images
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