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Third ‘not the worst place to start’ says Vettel

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I think if you are third here it is probably not the worst place to be

Sebastian Vettel

Last time out in Singapore, Sebastian Vettel started third but used a supreme undercut to vault into the lead and end a 392-day winless streak. In Russia he’ll again start third – but unlike in Marina Bay, he’s not too displeased to be behind Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton…

The run down to Turn 2 in Sochi – the first time the drivers hit the brakes on the lap, after the sweeping right hander of Turn 1 – is 844 metres.

READ MORE: Second-placed Hamilton hoping to ‘tow the life out of Leclerc’ at the start

That presents drivers with a great opportunity to slipstream ahead of rivals starting further forwards, and with Vettel third on the grid, on soft tyres and on the cleaner side of the track, he’s feeling good about his chances – even if he wasn’t entirely pleased with his own performance in qualifying.

“I think if you are third here it is probably not the worst place to be, compared to third in Monaco,” joked the German.

“I’m not entirely happy with today, I wasn’t really on top of everything. Especially closing the lap was getting a bit weaker – I struggled with that final sector.

“Tomorrow I am confident we have decent race pace, we are on a different strategy to Mercedes. We will see who was right…”

So that’s Hamilton, on his medium tyres, and Vettel both feeling punchy about the start, and polesitter Leclerc feeling less sure. Who will win out?

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