Saturday, 18 April 2015

Vettel starts from the front row as Raikkonen secures best qualifying result since 2013

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel will start tomorrow’s Bahrain night race from the front row of the grid after qualifying for the race in second place behind pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. 

Vettel is currently in second place in the championship 13 points behind the Mercedes driver. The German has secured three podium finishes in the first three races of the season. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s race Vettel stated:

In the end it is a great success for us to be able to split the Mercedes. Again, we seem to be a bit closer; but then everybody seemed to be a bit closer this weekend. So, hopefully, we can be another step closer tomorrow. In the beginning of qualifying i was not entirely happy, but then it got better and better. The last lap was very important and we were able to get it right. Now I can’t tell whether I will be able to win the race tomorrow. Let’s not forget that this is only the fourth race of the season; we are very happy with where we are, how competitive we are. We’ll go step by step, we’ll try our best possible race tomorrow, and if this means we can put pressure on the Mercedes, then we’ll do it. But the target is still to look after ourselves; if there is a chance to fight one or two of them, for sure we’ll go for it.

Kimi Raikkonen goes into tomorrow’s race off the back of two fourth place finishes in Malaysia and last time out in China. The Finn is currently in fifth place in the championship just six points behind Williams Martini Racing’s Felipe Massa. Speaking following his best qualifying since 2013, Raikkonen stated:

It was a positive day even if it’s a bit disappointing to finish fourth, because our aim is to be at the front. My last lap was quite good, I made a small mistake and ran wide a little bit in one corner, but it was nearly nothing, it did not cost me a lot of time. It was very close with everybody. On the track there was more grip than I expected and probably I could have pushed a little bit more, but I was not sure I could. My car was working well today, the position on the grid is not ideal but it’s a good starting point for the race. Tomorrow we’ll try to make a good start, and move on from there with a good first lap. To get ahead of Rosberg would help a lot, and then we’ll see what we can do. We’ll do our maximum.’

The Maranello based outfit go into tomorrow’s Grand Prix in second place in the Constructors championship just forty points behind the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. The Prancing Horse are in a prime position to capitalise on any mistakes that Mercedes might make during tomorrow’s race provided that they themselves have a clean race where both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finish the race.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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