Ferrari were left wondering what could have been after their drivers realised they failed to use the potential available in the car. Having been fastest in FP3 and on the pace early on in qualifying, the mixed conditions in the final section of qualifying complicated matters.
Both drivers were pretty competitive on the drying track, but their pace faded in the dying minutes. They admitted that they were too cautious and didn't push the boundaries in the all–important last minutes.
Kimi Räikkönen finished sixth, but is going to start the race from the fourth place as both Vettel and Rosberg incur penalties that move them behind him on the grid. The Finn was content with his car's pace but disappointed with the final outcome.
"Today a lot of things happened. In Q3 the rain came, but by the end of the session the track was drying up, so it was difficult to know if it was ready for dry or wet tyres,” stated Räikkönen.
"When the conditions got a bit tricky, we did not get it right because of many little things and did not manage to put a good lap together when it mattered.
"It is a bit disappointing to finish sixth, I felt there was more to come, but with the guys in front being penalized it’s not too bad.”
The 2007 champion was happy with the way his car handled throughout the day. He hopes that he can manage the tyres well tomorrow and expects a race which is dictated by tyre usage.
"The car has been handling well all weekend, in dry and wet conditions and we had the speed, so I expect it will be ok. Tomorrow it will be a difficult day for everybody, the conditions will dictate a lot how long the tires will last, it will be a key point. We’ll try to do a lot better than today,” said the former champion."
Sebastian Vettel agreed that his SF16-H was similarly faultless in terms of pace and behaviour.
“The car was very good, very strong all day. I don’t think anything was missing, the only thing missing was time. 4th place is ok, puts us to 9th tomorrow, but it’s not ideal because it all came down to the last lap.”
The quadruple champion acknowledged that he didn't take enough risks in tricky conditions.
"The track was surprisingly dry, maybe drier than I expected, with hindsight I should have taken more risks. It didn’t come down to the pace, or the car, it came down to the driver, and the three drivers that were in front of me took more risks. The later you crossed the line, the better it was.
Vettel expects a cooler day for tomorrow after the first two days of the Austrian GP showed changeable conditions.
"For tomorrow everything can happen, maybe there will be some rain, it will be significantly cooler and it will matter how you look after the tyres. We are in a good place and it is a shame for the result, because I thought it could be a good session today. The car was really good to drive and I thought we could be closer to the top.”
The German thinks that the kerbs are quite tricky and it is better to avoid them, but he is sure the FIA will investigate and find a solution for next year.
"About the kerbs, it’s clear that you’d better not touch them, and I think for next year we need to find a solution, but for tomorrow there’s nothing that can be done.”