Ferrari drivers suggest team did not manage the rainy qualifying well

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit De Spa-Francorchampsbe

Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen finished the qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix second and sixth respectively despite topping the first two qualifying sessions. Neither of them were happy with the outcome after strong showing earlier at the weekend.

Ferrari topped the timing sheet in all three practice sessions before setting the pace in the first two qualifying segments, as well. However, as a rain shower arrived at the circuit in the dying minutes of the session, things got a bit confused and it was hard to predict how the weather would develop over the coming minutes. In the end, Sebastian Vettel ended up second while Kimi Räikkönen ran out of fuel when the track was quickly drying up, depriving him of running in the much better conditions.

The German driver indicated after the qualifying session that the team did not manage the tricky conditions in the best way.

"In the end we should have managed better as a team,” he started his analysis.

Vettel was the last man to cross the finish line and with the track drying up it should have helped his chances, but he ran out of battery which turned out to be the decisive factor. Even with low battery, he managed to find some time on his very last lap, but it was still seventh tenths down on the pole time due to the loss of power on the straights.

"I was surprised myself when I crossed the line and saw the battery was low, which was quite costly. I always try to slow down and charge the car but there wasn't enough for the end."

His team-mate Kimi Räikkönen disclosed that he did not have enough fuel to stay out on the track when it was drying up quickly in the dying seconds.

“For sure this is not the place we should have finished today. In the end we only had fuel for one lap and we had to come in. This is what we have got and there’s nothing we can do. It’s just a matter of getting it right and being there when the track is faster.”

During Friday’s race simulation, Vettel had good and consistent pace on the medium tyres, but Mercedes had the upper hand on the supersoft compound on which the top drivers will start today’s race. Despite that, both Ferrari drivers are looking forward to show their real pace.

“However, we have a good car, our people are pushing very hard and I think we have taken another step forward here. I believe that speed is the main aspect that can make the difference. We’ll see how we get off the line tomorrow in the first lap, but I think that if we have better speed, then we will find the right way to pass. We’ve been very close so far, so I think we’ll see the real pace tomorrow in the race,” Vettel added.

“Tomorrow we’ll try again, learn from our mistakes and keep going. First of all we need to come through the first corner without any issues. Yesterday it was surprisingly difficult to overtake, but in the race it is a different story,” concluded Räikkönen.