Sebastian Vettel’s race engineer Ricardo Adami hailed the performance of his driver in the qualifying session for the 2017 Russian GP after the German went on to claim his first pole position since the 2015 Singapore GP.
Vettel collected his 47th pole position of his career with yesterday’s success. This pole also means Ferrari’s long pole position's drought ended. It was the Italian team’s first pole since the 2015 Singapore GP and its first front row lock-out since the 2008 French GP.
“It was a tough qualifying, but we stayed focused. Seb was great, despite the lap wasn’t perfect, but that’s okay,” said Adami.
Vettel completed excessive race preparation on Friday which indicated that the SF70-H also behaves very well in race trim. However, Mercedes showed very promising long run pace with Valtteri Bottas behind the wheel. Adami is confident that Ferrari can pose a challenge to Mercedes in the race as well.
“We worked especially on the set-up for the race, so the car should be fine tomorrow. But finger crossed, we never know.’
Ferrari set the pace on a track where Mercedes-powered cars dominated the action since its inception in 2014. The never-ending straights, the full-throttle corner of the first sector, the heavy acceleration zones all favoured the peak power advantage of the Mercedes power unit.
Ferrari is believed to have closed the gap to the field-leading Mercedes regarding the power unit. However, Mercedes’ dominance in the power-dominated first sector of Sochi and Bahrain indicates that the Anglo-German manufacturer still has the upper hand in terms of peak power, at least in qualifying modus.
“The car is great and Seb is very happy,” concluded Adami.