• Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Tyres the key to the race - Vettel

ESPN Staff
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Sebastian Vettel: "It was a different approach to a lot of people" © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel is hoping Red Bull's decision to save three sets of fresh hard tyres for the race will pay off after lining up third on the grid in qualifying.

Vettel used a new set of medium tyres in each session of qualifying, saving three sets of fresh hard tyres for the race. He was the fastest cars aside from the Mercedes, which are expected to struggle with tyre degradation in the race, and is hoping saving the hard rubber - that is expected to be the preferred race tyre - will give him an advantage.

"It was a different approach to a lot of people because we used option tyres only," he said. "Whether that helps us tomorrow we will have to wait and see. For sure, it will all be about tyre degradation in the race.

"I think we've seen this in the winter [testing] that we didn't really get very far [with the tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya]. Now the [warmer] conditions are helping a little bit but still it is a tough challenge and the tyres don't last as long as we all like.

"That's the challenge we have to face and I'm happy with today's result because it's good historically to start this race a little further up the grid."

Vettel said he had unlocked some pace in the final sector on his qualifying lap.

"I was pretty happy with the last sector because historically it has been a bit weak for me. After the last couple of years I have finally understood a little bit better the last couple of corners. I'm quite happy because yesterday and this morning I wasn't happy, particularly in the last sector. We improved the car and things calmed down and we had a pretty smooth qualifying session."

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