Sebastian Vettel rues small error but thankful to team after engine trouble
Sebastian Vettel rued a small error at the final chicane on his final flying lap in qualifying, which he believes cost him pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver will line up second after being pipped to pole by Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by just 0.051 seconds.
Speaking over team radio on his cool-down lap, he shouted: "I had it, I had it", later explaining he made a small mistake which cost him time to Hamilton.
"I’ve been coming here a long time, so many laps, and still the last chicane is a tricky one for me," said Vettel.
"On the first Q3 run I wasn’t entirely happy, I knew there was more. The second one was really good until that final chicane, it was really close. Well done to Lewis."
Vettel's qualifying almost ended in disaster from his very first lap when his engineer told him to "stop the car, stop now" as data showed an issue, following an engine change between final practice and qualifying.
However Vettel questioned the call, replying "are you sure", before resetting his system from inside the cockpit, which cleared the fault and allowed him to continue.
"A big thank you to the team, because we had to change the engine last minute and the car was just about finished, so today is really for the mechanics – also from Kimi [Raikkonen's] car that helped out, 'grazie'," he added.
"It was unbelievable, they did an engine change sub two-hours. If you ever see the car stripped, there’s a lot of bits and bobs that needs to be reconnected. It’s a miracle that they got me out."