|© Andrew Hone/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Considering the pace Red Bull missed during the practice sessions leading up to qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel had reasons to be optimistic ahead of the race.
The defending world champion qualified sixth – but will start fifth on Sunday due to Paul di Resta’s grid penalty – after a tough fight on Saturday.
“I’m pretty happy with the result; my last lap should have been a bit quicker, but whether it would have made a difference or not is hard to say,” said Vettel who was a five-tenths behind Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher’s time and eighth-tenths off the pole-sitter.
“If you look from us to the front, the gaps are too big,” he observed. “All weekend we were not quick enough, so P6 is a very good place to be.”
Teammate Mark Webber was knocked out in the second leg of qualifying – for the second time in three races - which meant Red Bull had only one driver in the final shootout for three successive Grands Prix.
“It’s pretty much what we expected,” Webber confessed. “Seb and I were on the bubble there; it was very close between us – there’s only a tenth here and there and I’m out. No massive surprises.
“I’m 11th, so we can have a bit of a choice on what we can do tonight, but I’d rather be further up the grid,” he added. We’ve got a bit of a slog tomorrow; but it’s Monza so never say never.”