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Vettel: Mercedes 'in a world of their own' in qualifying

03 Sep 2016

Sebastian Vettel admits Ferrari had no response to Mercedes' dominance in qualifying at Monza at Saturday, although he insists he still has hopes of springing an upset in Sunday's Grand Prix.

Mercedes completed their eighth front-row lock-out of the season in Italy, with polesitter Lewis Hamilton a resounding 0.8s ahead of Vettel’s third-placed Ferrari and a further tenth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s identical machine.

And while Vettel lost time with a mistake exiting Parabolica, he admits the Prancing Horse simply weren't in the same league as the Silver Arrows over a single lap.

"I'm very happy for us to lock out the second row," the German said, "but I can't be entirely happy because the gap is quite big.

"I lost my rhythm a bit on my first lap in Q3, but I was able to get it back [for the final run]. I was a bit on the limit in the last corner too, a bit late on the throttle... but it looks like they [Mercedes] were in a world of their own today."

Vettel believes Ferrari can be much closer in the race however, adding: "It is always a fact that our race pace is better – that is what should play to our advantage. Sure we are not the favourites here and I think it will not be easy to keep [Mercedes] pace – but before Ferrari’s home crowd we will give it everything.

"The gap to the pole man is not really satisfying, but overall it has been a very good weekend so far – no real issues – and that in itself is a step forward." 

Vettel also said that while Mercedes will start the race on the soft tyre - as oppose to the supersofts the rest of the top ten will start with - that might not necessarily end up being the big advantage it seems. 

"Sometimes you run the most logical strategy," he said, "and then you are caught by reality and everything is different from one moment to the other.

"Who knows what happens tomorrow. We have great support - every out lap everyone stands and waves. So hopefully we can give them something back."

Vettel has previous form at Monza - he has won here three times (including his debut win with Toro Rosso in 2008), and finished second in his first ‘home’ Grand Prix for Ferrari last year. The Scuderia have not fared quite as well - they have won here just twice in the last decade, through Michael Schumacher in 2006 and through Fernando Alonso four years later.