Sebastian Vettel said that he was happy to qualify for the 2018 British Grand Prix in second place – especially when at one point it seemed he might have to drop out of the session altogether
The Ferrari driver missed out on pole position by just 0.044s, but admitted that he was relieved to have even been taking part in the first place.
He had suffered neck pain during Saturday morning’s final practice session which left him seeking intensive physiotherapy treatment before the start of qualifying.
“To be honest this morning no, I wasn’t sure I could do qualy,” he said afterwards.
However the treatment had worked and he insisted that the neck issue hadn’t been a significant factor in qualifying.
“I had a bit of an issue in practice but it was fine in qualy,” he said, while adding that it “wasn’t the most enjoyable session”.
“It’s nothing dramatic, the session was fine,” Vettel insisted. “We had to call it a bit earlier this morning than I would have wanted but it was fine.
“I don’t know what happened, but it was a bit stiff. We loosened it up. I’m not worried [for tomorrow] because the speed will be less than qualy.”
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The issue certainly didn’t seem to hold him back in qualifying. He was fastest in Q1 and second to Lewis Hamilton in the second round.
When it came to the final pole shoot-out, Vettel took first blood with his initial run. But when Hamilton responded and subsequently went faster, Vettel found himself unable to improve.
“I was pretty happy with the first run in Q3,” Vettel said. “I knew I had to give a bit more in sector three, which I think I got right on the second attempt.
“But I seemed to lose a little bit down the straights,” he explained. “I think I was missing a bit of tow.
“I’m not sure why. I set two laps that were identical, half a tenth you can always argue you can find time somewhere, I think he was just a little better on the final runs.
“But I think it was very close,” he said. “I’m confident we can be faster tomorrow.
“You’ve seen today were able to pick up pace and the race is usually a bit better for us,” he concluded. “I’m happy with second, it gives us a good chance for tomorrow.”
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