Vettel questions giving pole position to Sprint winner but wants to 'give it a go'

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Sebastian Vettel thinks it's "wrong" for pole position to be given to the winner of Formula 1's new sprint race instead of qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver in the normal Q1, Q2, Q3 session on Friday at Silverstone, but it will not count towards his tally of poles which currently sits at 100.

Instead, he'll only move to 101 if he wins the 17-lap Sprint Qualifying race on Saturday, and Vettel feels that could scramble F1's record books.

“I think that’s wrong,” the Aston Martin driver said on Thursday. “Pole is the fastest lap time achieved in qualifying, so it gets all a bit confusing.

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“Obviously it depends, if this is a one-off, it doesn’t do much harm but if we end up doing 10 sprint races next year or in the future, I just think it’s a bit weird.

“Pole position should go to the guy who is fastest on one lap. It’s a new discipline. They didn’t have it 50 years ago and now they have it. So you add a new column to the statistics.”

Vettel, who is known for his traditionalist views of F1, has been one of the biggest critics of the push for a qualifying race, but...

“I’m fairly open because it is what it is - it won’t change no matter what we say,” he added. “Maybe it’s really good, so I think generally it’s fine to be open about it.

“It will be interesting to see if people will like it or not. I think the main event always has to be Sunday otherwise there’s no point hanging around until Sunday we can just go home or finish the weekend Saturday night.

“We’ll see how it goes, I think it’s the first time so let’s give it a go.

“It’s something new, and that is always exciting. We’ll see how it turns out. Lots of unknowns but we’ll give it a go."

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Vettel himself was 10th fastest in qualifying after having his last lap in Q3 deleted for track limits and reflected on a Friday like few others in his 14-year career.

“Well I mean it makes it a bit more interesting,” Vettel said of qualifying after one practice session.

“I think we had a decent session, obviously if you get to Q3 you don’t want to be 10th but we were 10th in the end so it’s a shame that we couldn’t really improve.

“I think the gaps are… it’s very tight. I was very happy with the laps in Q2 so maybe we could have got P9, but I think P9/P10 was realistically what we could get. So a bit of a shame we’re just lacking these one or two tenths to then make a big step and a big leap forward.”

As for how he'll approach the sprint race on Saturday...

“Ideally you take the opportunity on Lap 1 to make up some positions and sometimes it works your way, sometimes it doesn’t. I think the key is that you finish the race, otherwise you finish last for Sunday."