Ferrari completed a successful qualifying session with both drivers in the all-important minutes before Sunday’s Belgian GP. The Scuderia rented the second row with Räikkönen’s third and Vettel’s fourth place.
The fabled Italian team showed less competitiveness in the early and middle part of the summer, but it sounded hopeful that it found the root of its problems in the summer break.
The red cars were quick from the first laps of the weekend and showed good speed in the very different sectors of the long Spa track.
Räikkönen, who set the best identical lap time, hailed the behavior of his car.
”So far it has been a decent weekend, the car was behaving well today and we had the speed. My first run in Q3 was very good, but I went sideways and off track. The second attempt was even better, but in the last chicane I had some slight understeer and lost a few tenths compared to my Q2 sector. Today I felt we had the chance to get pole position, so I’m a bit disappointed, my laptime was not good enough.”
The former Finn champion praised Ferrari’s strategical decision to run on softs in Q2 which could lengthen the first stint in the race.
“On a positive side, we are very close compared to the last couple of races. We decide to start the race with Soft tires, if you can make them work it will make a massive difference, we’ll see how the race will pan out but I think our plan will be fine. We’ll do our best, of course the hot conditions won’t be easy for the tires, but it’s the same for everybody. Hopefully we’ll be up there fighting also tomorrow,” added the Espoo-born driver.
Vettel was particularly happy with Ferrari's progress in terms of setup as he was hampered by balance problems during Friday’s outings.
”I’m sure we made a step forward from yesterday! If you look at the gaps between the cars, they are very close, so tomorrow it should be a good race. Obviously you always want a little bit more, the exit of the last corner in particular wasn’t very strong, so I can’t be happy with that. The rest of the lap was ok, we had a much better balance than on Friday, but it’s important to be fast in all three sectors to be up there.”
The quadruple German champion is looking forward to an interesting race which could also see some rain.
“We decided to start the race on the Soft tires, we believe that this is the best strategy, we’ll see tomorrow. Anything can happen, there could even be some rain, in Spa you never know…”