Sebastian Vettel may have looked his normal self on the track but a neck problem left him unsure of his participation in qualifying for the British Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Ferrari driver would cut short his running in final practice but after some treatment would be involved in an epic fight with Lewis Hamilton for pole around one of the most demanding circuits of the year on the neck at Silverstone.
Ultimately, the local favourite would pip the German to pole by just 0.044s, but just to be out on track was a relief in itself for the 31-year-old.
“To be honest this morning no, I wasn’t sure if I could do qualifying,” Vettel admitted.
“It was not the most enjoyable session, but it’s fine. I don’t know what happened, but it was a bit stiff. We loosened it up."
Faced with having to do 52 laps on Sunday, the four-time world champion also believes it will be less of an issue regardless of any improvement overnight.
"I’m not worried [for the race] because the speed will be less than qualifying," he stated.
As for missing out on pole by such a small margin, Vettel believes he might know where the difference was although it was very tough to tell.
“I was pretty happy with the first run in Q3, I knew I had to give a bit more in sector three, which I think I got right on the second attempt, but I seemed to lose a little bit down the straights,” he analysed.
“I’m not sure why. I set two laps that were identical, half a tenth you can always argue you can find time somewhere, I think he was just a little better on the final runs."
As for the relative performance in the race, with the hot conditions set to continue, Sebastian does think the Italian team can have the edge.
“I’m confident we can be faster tomorrow, you’ve seen today were able to pick up pace and the race is usually a bit better for us,” he claimed.
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow on Lap 1 but obviously, the race will depend on your speed and how you conserve these tyres but I think we had a good run in practice and have a good idea of what we need to do.”
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