‘I tried to take more risk’ – Vettel explains reason for big shunt in Q2
Sebastian Vettel has only made it through to the pole position shootout segment of qualifying three times this season, and his bid to make it to Q3 for a fourth time came to a dramatic halt in Russia after the German suffered a big crash in Q2.
The Ferrari driver, who’d never previously qualified outside the top 10 at Sochi, will line up 15th in Sunday’s race after losing control of his SF1000 at Turn 4 with a little over two minutes remaining in Q2, as he fought to avoid elimination.
And after climbing out of his badly damaged car unscathed, the four-time world champion said he’d simply been pushing too hard.
“I lost the car,” he said bluntly. “Already in Turn 2 I lost the car and then in Turn 4 I lost it again and couldn’t catch it anymore.
“I knew there was a bit of margin so I went for it and carried more speed in, but then lost the car quite suddenly and couldn’t catch it from there.”
The incident was all the more surprising given his car was seemingly coming to him in terms of balance as the weekend progressed.
“It was,” he said, “but in quali I was struggling especially in the first sector. I tried to take a bit more risk, but as I said, I lost the car already in 2, then in 4.
“Not happy, obviously, but compared to the morning session I struggled quite a bit in the afternoon.”
Having scored a single point last time out at Mugello – his first point for three races – Vettel now faces an uphill challenge to add to his tally in Sunday’s race in Sochi, though like team mate Charles Leclerc, who’ll start P11, he at least has a free choice of tyres to start the race.
“We’ll see [what’s possible in the race]. It wasn’t too bad up to qualifying. Qualifying then was quite a bit worse, but the rest was ok.”