Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says Mercedes’ advantage in the 2020 Formula 1 season is such that they are “on a different universe”, following qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Mercedes has taken 80 points from a possible 88 so far this season and on Saturday scored its third straight 1-2 in qualifying, locking out the front row of the grid at the Hungaroring.
Lewis Hamilton’s advantage over third-placed Racing Point driver Lance Stroll was 0.930s at the conclusion of Q3.
Ferrari qualified fifth and sixth, with Vettel in front of Charles Leclerc, and the four-time champion’s best lap was 1.3s down on Hamilton’s pole time.
“I think in the race we can make a difference with tyres,” said Vettel.
“We’re on a different tyre strategy compared to the first four. I think the first two are completely out of reach, they are just not on a different planet, but it seems on a different universe at the moment so we’ll see.
“But we’ll fight with what we have and try to make the best out of it.”
Leclerc conveyed hope that Ferrari’s SF1000 will be more competitive in race trim.
“Third row with both cars is quite good for the team, especially as we are quite close to the second row,” he said.
“I am actually pretty happy. We made a step forward, which is nice to see. It wasn’t an easy session from my side, I was struggling a bit with my driving in Q1 and Q2 so I was not totally happy with the job I was doing, but it got better in Q3 and P6 is a good place to start.
“I believe our race pace is stronger than our qualifying pace so with a good strategy we can take advantage of that and gain some positions. There’s everything to play for tomorrow.”