Date published: September 29 2018
Sebastian Vettel is still feeling confident of winning the Russian Grand Prix despite being outpaced in qualifying at the Sochi Autodrom.
The Ferrari driver was never in real contention for pole position and finished half a second off pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas.
The four-time World Champion will start Sunday’s race from P3 and is hoping he can experience a similar race to what Bottas felt in Russia last year.
Vettel started on pole in the 2017 edition of the Russian Grand Prix, with Bottas coming through to win from P3.
“I just spoke to Valtteri and reminded him what happened last year, so maybe we can turn it around,” Vettel said.
“It would be nice, it depends on the start, the initial jump, and then you know where you are and we’ll see what we can do for the first corner.
“But after that it’s a long race, so tricky one but for sure if there’s a gap we’ll go for it.”
Vettel also felt that the 0.5 second gap to Bottas was not a true reflection of how close Mercedes and Ferrari really are.
Vettel added: “It was important to get as close as possible to them and we’ll see but it’s true they’ve been very quick so we’ll see tomorrow.
“It is a long race, we’ve seen the tyres are very important.
“Today I think it should have been a bit closer, the gap, but [we had] not enough to be a threat.
“I had a tiny mistake in the last sector but I knew I had to improve by half a second.
“I had to try, it didn’t work, but I’m quite happy. The car felt alright, so that makes me positive for Sunday.”