Vettel admits Leclerc in a 'different class' after torrid Portimao qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel admits teammate Charles Leclerc is in a "different class" after another difficult qualifying at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

As Ferrari brought up more updates to the SF1000, the Monegasque managed to secure fourth on the grid at Portimao, within half a second of Lewis Hamilton on pole.

In contrast, Vettel, who hasn't made Q3 since Silverstone, will start 15th for the second time in three races, this after being six-tenths slower than Leclerc in Q2.

"It’s not just beating, it's like a different class," Vettel told Sky Germany of the advantage his teammate currently enjoys.

"I try everything I can. I think the laps I hit, and I'm satisfied with them, are still too slow. At the moment there is nothing more I can do than to get what I have inside me.

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"I actually had a pretty good feeling after the first try in Q2," he added. "But in the second run, the tyres didn't get up to temperature at all. I locked a wheel right at Turn 3 and then the lap was already messed up.

“I don't know why I have such a hard time getting the tyres up to temperature, and that it feels a bit different every time. As I said, the car felt good the first time I tried it.

"I thought that with the medium I could easily repeat the time of Q1. That was the target, but it wasn't that easy. I couldn't get the tyres to work."

As for Leclerc, he admitted shock at just how competitive he was on Saturday.

“We did not expect it,” he told Sky Sports. “We expected a better result than usual, taking off the fourth place in the Nurburgring, but to be so close to pole position was a surprise.

"There is always more to give, but I am happy with the lap.”

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At the last race, however, Charles became somewhat of a roadblock in the early laps, but he hopes that won't be the case on Sunday.

“I hope not. I believe the medium tyre is a good choice to start with. The only tricky part will be the start, but this we can’t know until we do it.

“The first corner, you just have to have balls there and go for it, which is what I try to do.

“We struggled a lot with graining at the Nurburgring, conditions were quite a bit different, a lot colder, so I don’t think we expect those kind of problems tomorrow.

"Maybe we are wrong, but I think it should be much better tomorrow.”