What chance does Vettel have?
Pretty good, is the answer. And if he gets the better start and gets into the lead he’s likely to be very tough to beat here, Hamilton’s comment notwithstanding that this is a track where overtaking is possible.
Once again Ferrari have had problems this weekend, with Vettel struggling with his car on Friday and losing it mightily in Turn 19 before later complaining that its front end felt “like jelly.” It was rebuilt around a new chassis overnight in an heroic effort by the Ferrari mechanics, who managed the job without even busting the curfew. “We are very happy with the result,” Vettel said. “It was crucial to get that final run. We’ve had a slow start here with a couple of problems, and I wasn’t comfortable yesterday with the car and hardly did any laps after I ‘lost’ it and spun early in FP2. Something wasn’t right and obviously it was a big job overnight. But the team were fantastic. The mechanics have now had a couple of race weekends in row with last-minute engine changes and chassis changes, and they did it all without breaking the curfew. “Obviously today I was much happier with the car. I couldn’t find my rhythm straight away and struggled with the wind in a couple corners, Turns 8 and 9 were tricky all day. But it was more a question of getting it right. I knew what I had to get right and I got it right, which was important. My first lap was very poor in Q3 so I knew I had to deliver, otherwise I might not even have been in the top six. But I knew that if I got them right we should be able to get closer, and it worked out. If the car behaves tomorrow like it did today, it should be good.” We’ve seen on many occasions this year that Ferrari have excellent race pace, and Vettel is pumped up to put another win on the board after the drought since Hungary. “It’s pretty straightforward: we have to win and then we’ll see what happens,” he says. “We’ve had the car for the last three races and it didn’t happen, but I don’t see why over the next four races we won’t have the package to race, so it starts tomorrow.”