• Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying

No strategy behind hard tyre choice - Vettel

ESPNF1 Staff
March 24, 2012 « Hamilton confident of improved race pace | Schumacher eyeing podium finish »
Sebastian Vettel set his fastest time in Q3 on hard tyres and will start the race on the same set © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel says his decision to qualify on hard tyres at the Malaysian Grand Prix was not part of a wider strategy but due to his struggle on the medium compound.

Vettel will start the race from fifth on the grid and under the regulations will have to start the race on the hard compound that he set his time on while the others in the top ten used the mediums. But Vettel denied that he was thinking about race strategy when he opted for the hard tyres, admitting he was struggling for performance on the mediums.

"There's not much strategy behind it to be honest," he said. "I was struggling with the soft[er] tyres and thought I had a better car on the hard tyres, which is why I made the call. We could have gone maybe a tenth or two quicker on the soft tyre but then we went significantly faster on the hard tyre. Whether that is an advantage tomorrow ... we are the only ones [in the top ten on hard tyres] so we hope it might be, but we'll see."

Red Bull was off the pace of McLaren for the second qualifying session in a row, but Vettel said that he expects his race pace to be much closer to Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

"We had not so good qualifying in Australia and not so good qualifying here, but we had a good race in Australia so we are hoping we can do a bit more there. Our race pace should be better, but nevertheless there is plenty of work to do. We are aware of that and we need to push harder."