Sebastian Vettel believes Lewis Hamilton's lap time in the final part of the qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix was 'not unbeatable' and feels he and his Ferrari team could have done better.
Vettel and Ferrari had been almost expected to lead the way as the Marina Bay circuit is a known 'bogey' track for the Silver Arrows, but a stunning lap from Hamilton in Q3 ensured the German was kept off the top spot.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen piled on additional pain by snatching second place despite problems with the Renault engine in his Red Bull, leaving Vettel to start third on the second row of the grid.
"I think as I tried to explain, for us the qualifying didn’t go the way I think we planned it to be," he said.
"Not just in terms of result – obviously we were hoping for more than third on the grid – but I think that’s one thing. I think obviously the gap is quite big, which is one.
"I think Lewis had a really good lap, so congrats to him for the lap. I’m sure it was a good one. But I don’t think he was unbeatable but for us today, the way we composed qualifying, I think it was difficult to get a rhythm.
"I was struggling in Q1, Q2, Q3. As I said before, I think other people did a better job. That’s including Lewis’ lap as an individual but also them as a team. And obviously, it’s not what we wanted today to get third."
The four-time World Champion believes he and the team could have done better with the Ferrari package, however, Vettel was quick to commend the championship leader on his efforts but was also quick to state the gap between the two means he cannot be happy with his own performance.
He added: "As I tried to explain, obviously I don’t want to take anything from Lewis’s lap and their efforts as a team – they did great and that’s why they are on pole by quite a margin so that is not for debate.
"I think for us, it’s clear that we could have done better and therefore we can’t be happy.
"Now, going into detail I don’t think there’s much point. For sure here and there we could have done better, maybe preparing the lap, the qualifying but in the end, I had the laps and they obviously weren’t strong enough and good enough to be near."