Q1. Both drivers comfortably made the cut to Q2, doing three times laps each on just one set of Soft tyres. Charles did a 1’42”652, which he then improved on by over a second, doing a 1’41”426. Unfortunately, Sebastian had to abort his first run because of yellow flags in Sector 1, doing a 1’42”347 followed by a 1’42”042 before pitting.
Q2. In the second session, Leclerc and Vettel went out on Medium tyres. On his first attempt, Charles did an excellent 1’41”995, while Sebastian made a slight mistake and therefore posted a 1’43”355. Charles set off for another quick lap but ended up in the wall at Turn 8, which brought out the red flags. When the session restarted, the track surface was getting progressively cooler. Sebastian went out on the Softs and did a 1’42”209 and then a 1’41”889, which was good enough to get into the top ten shoot-out for pole position.
Q3. In the final 10 minutes of qualifying, Sebastian made two runs; a 1’41”124 and then a 1’40”797 to improve in the final seconds of the session. It was good enough for him to start from third on the grid, behind a front row made up of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel: “It was a tough call in the end. When the track temperature dropped the car balance changed and getting the tyres to work for that one lap, especially after such a long straight before starting the lap, was not easy. With the clock ticking down, everybody was banking on the last run and getting a tow so at some point I had to make the call; do I prioritise my tyres or the tow? Which would have meant compromising the outlap and I didn’t have the feeling that I could afford that and I wanted to have a clean shot. My first Q3 run was ok, but on the second run I didn’t have anybody to tow me along, so I dealt with it just focusing on my lap and obviously I lost quite a lot, about four tenths, compared to the previous lap. But that’s what happens at this track. It was a tricky session. I saw Charles in the barrier and realised qualifying was over for him. It was a shame to lose one of our cars. In the end, we are one team and everybody is working extremely hard no matter which side of the garage you are on. Anyway, we need to turn the page as tomorrow is a new day and it’s a long race where anything can happen. As a team we can recover and put our rivals under pressure. Overall I feel we have a strong car so we can go and race hard and should have some fun.”
Source: Ferrari Media