• German Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel believes he could have secured pole

ESPN Staff
July 21, 2012 « Lotus can't blame bad luck for lack of win - Raikkonen | Alonso praises Ferrari's strategic call »
Sebastian Vettel qualified second behind Fernando Alonso © Press Association
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Sebastian Vettel believes he could have taken pole position for the German Grand Prix had it not been for a mistake on his final qualifying lap.

A rain storm ahead of the top-ten shootout meant the track was soaked for the start of Q3, but it gradually improved on every lap. Vettel set the fastest first sector time of all the drivers but said mistakes later in the lap cost him pole position to Fernando Alonso.

"The track was best at the end and my last lap was not entirely clean," he said. "In these conditions it was extremely tricky, you lose the car a little bit over the rivers on the track and you are in a different place from where you target to be. It was tricky, but nevertheless I think we had the pace today to put the car on pole in the end because I think the lap time was possible."

Alonso pitted midway through Q3 for a new set of wet tyres whereas Vettel used the same set throughout the 10 minute session. The Red Bull driver said he may have been at a disadvantage as a result.

"We'll have to look at what Fernando did in the end with the strategy; maybe that was a better way to do it. But all in all in these conditions it is always a bit of a lottery as well. You can lose the car without making a mistake in aquaplaning conditions, but fortunately we didn't lose it and we are on the first row, which should be good. I am starting on the inside as well so we'll see what happens tomorrow."

For the second race in a row Alonso will share the front row of the grid with one of the Red Bulls, but Vettel is also wary of the threat from the updated McLarens that will start sixth and seventh.

"You can't rule out McLaren," he added. "They've been extremely quick in qualifying and all weekend, but then in the last qualifying on the extremes I don't know what went wrong, but they were quite a bit further behind. They will be extremely quick tomorrow and I think Lotus have been extremely quick in the last couple of races so it's extremely close I would say."