• Malaysian GP - Qualifying

Vettel: We can win if it rains

ESPN Staff
March 29, 2014 « FIA rules out ditching fuel flow rule | Hamilton concerned by Red Bull recovery »
Sebastian Vettel excelled in the wet conditions on Saturday © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel insists Mercedes' obvious advantage over the rest of the field will count for nothing if the rain returns on Sunday after qualifying alongside Lewis Hamilton on the front row.

Vettel overcame an energy store issue in Q1, which required an entire reboot of his car, and ended up splitting the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in the wet. In the morning's dry FP3 session Mercedes had shown the huge advantage it has over the rest, but Vettel is convinced the race is there to be won, especially if it rains once again.

"I think we always have a chance to beat everyone," Vettel said. "That's why we are here. In terms of package, [Mercedes] has the most competitive package. It's difficult to beat them on the day but it isn't impossible. You don't come here to finish second, or fifth, or eighth, we come here to win. We know that in the rain anything is possible but didn't know how we would do in qualifying. They may be faster on a dry day but maybe performance is less important in the wet as it is in the dry. We will see what happens tomorrow, we all race at the same time and we know there is rain forecast. Yesterday was good, today was very good. I haven't done a race since Brazil last year so I'm looking forward to it."

Vettel may well have had one more crack at pole in the dying moments of qualifying but did not cross the line in time, after running wide when Rosberg passed him on the final corner while preparing for a flying lap of his own. Though upset with the move Vettel admits the conditions made life incredibly difficult in Q3.

"Nico couldn't see much in his mirrors I guess. I was on a flying lap and Nico was preparing his hot lap and then not much happened. I was pissed off at that time as I didn't know where to pull in because I couldn't see anything going into Turn 12."

Vettel admits he was starting to dread another session marred by gremlins after being told to pit during Q1, and believes pole was there for the taking if his final run not been compromised.

"At the beginning of Q1 the heartbeat was definitely rising very quickly when we realised there was an issue. We came in, restarted the car and that seemed to solve the problem. After that it was fine. For sure Q3 was not perfect. I would have loved to have had a second go. The margin was there and it was possible to go a that much faster but equally if Lewis had another chance he would have improved as well. Would, could, should at the end of the day but it's good to be on the front row and on the clean side as well, I think."

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