• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel pleased to avoid slip-up

ESPN Staff
August 24, 2013 « Mercedes 'extracted more than the car can do' - Hamilton | Webber calls on/off DRS 'bizarre' »
Sebastian Vettel improved with his final lap to secure a place on the front row © Associated Press
Related Links

Sebastian Vettel said he was pleased to qualify second for the Belgian Grand Prix in changeable conditions at Spa.

A wet start to qualifying gave way to a dry Q2 before more rain early in Q3 prevented anyone setting a time on slicks. Paul di Resta appeared to have got the jump on the rest of the top ten by getting an early lap in on intermediates before the rain intensified, but both Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton managed an extra lap at the end of the session on a drying track to secure the top three places.

While Vettel wasn't happy to lose out on pole to Hamilton he said it was important to avoid a poor result in the conditions.

"In qualifying they have been quite strong in the first half of the season and they keep doing it," Vettel said. "Today obviously we have to look at it from a different point of view because in these conditions anything could happen, but it was all about the right timing and how fast you could go here and there. But I'm very happy with the result because in these conditions it's very easy to make a wrong call. It's a good result and everything is possible tomorrow, conditions wise we can expect the same."

Analysing how his qualifying session had gone, Vettel praised his Red Bull team for a quick change between slick tyres and intermediates at the start of Q3.

"It wasn't clear whether the first lap we did in Q3 was going to be the [quick] lap on intermediate tyres. Obviously we all went out on slick tyres at the start, which was quite entertaining because it started to rain pretty heavily. Then it wasn't clear because at the beginning it looked like there was more rain coming so we were all rushing to get a lap in. But then it stopped raining and the circuit came back very quickly.

"The last lap turned out to be the fastest lap with the circuit drying and it's difficult to know how fast you can go. Obviously I saw Lewis catching me up on the last lap and could see he was a bit quicker here and a bit quicker there. It was quite close as we crossed the line but in these conditions anything can happen. It's a shame we missed pole once again, but I'm quite happy today. The boys did a very good job changing tyres to the intermediates which gave us an extra lap. Unfortunately the circuit wasn't ready but all in all it was a good day for the team. Let's see what happens tomorrow, but I think we can expect similar conditions with wet and dry so we will see."