Ferrari disappointed as practice promise fades after Vettel crash in qualifying

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Ferrari saw the promise of better than expected pace in practice fade away in a few minutes of Russian Grand Prix qualifying.

The Scuderia has appeared back in the midfield fight with McLaren, Renault, Racing Point and AlphaTauri in Sochi, but failed to get either car into the top 10 after a disastrous Q2.

First, Sebastian Vettel would put his car into the barrier causing a red flag, a crash he put down to pushing a little too hard.

“Well I lost the car," he said bluntly. "Already in Turn 2 I lost the car and then in Turn 4, I lost it again and I couldn’t catch it anyway."

Asked if the wind, which did a full 180 in terms of direction compared to practice, played a role, Vettel added: “It was, it was but in qualifying, I was struggling especially in the first sector.

"I tried to take a little bit more risk, as I said I lost it in [Turn] 2 and then in [Turn] 4. Not happy obviously but compared to the morning session I struggled quite a bit in the afternoon.”

Moments after the German's car came to a stop on the racing line, teammate Charles Leclerc narrowly avoided hitting the stationary Ferrari as he whizzed past.

“It was quite scary but hopefully he is fine and it was not much worse than that,” the Monegasque said.

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With a rush to get around before the chequered flag after the red flag, Leclerc was compromised by running too close to Esteban Ocon after Ferrari misjudged the time he had to cross the line.

“Now it’s more the disappointment of not going through to Q3," he added. "I thought I had no margins at all, I thought on the radio but actually there was quite a bit of margin and I could have taken a bigger gap to the car in front. It’s frustrating but it’s life.

“On the positive part we are starting 11th which is we are the first car to choose our tyres tomorrow so hopefully we can benefit from it.”