• Japanese Grand Prix - qualifying

Crash almost cost me - Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
October 8, 2011 « Last corner cost me a shot at pole - Hamilton | 'I got everything out of the car' - Button »
Sebastian Vettel was no higher than third in any practice session © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel admitted that his crash during practice on Friday almost cost him in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel recovered from to take pole position after Jenson Button had topped all three practice sessions, with the gap between the two just 0.009s. Vettel said that his crash had put him on the back foot, and that it was only changes made before qualifying that gave him a quick enough car for pole.

"To be honest yesterday - obviously I went off in free practice and damaged the wing - it wasn't ideal in the afternoon to prepare the car for today," Vettel said. "I think we suffered a little bit from that this morning, in particular where we were coming back regarding the car balance, but we were too slow.

"We sat down after the practice session this morning and fortunately got everything together, and we were able to get everything - every single bit - out of the car in qualifying, which was crucial. There isn't much between Jenson and myself so it was a tough qualifying, but I enjoyed it a lot."

Vettel also said that his qualifying lap wasn't perfect, before thanking his team.

"It's a long lap and you start off with this mega first sector ... I had a bit of a wobble in sector one but then I made up for it in the second sector and we've been strong in the third sector so all in all; fantastic. Especially thanks to the team, who just in time brought the front wing, so many regards. Also to the factory - without them I would not sit on pole position today so I'm very happy, very proud. As I said we were able to extract everything we had today which was just enough."