Sebastian Vettel perplexed by lack of pace amid Q3 struggles

Sebastian Vettel in action at the French Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel says he was at a loss to explain the lack of pace that left him only seventh on the grid at the French Grand Prix.

Vettel aborted his first lap after a mistake and on his second push lap was able to set a time quick enough for just seventh spot.

“I don’t know what happened but I lost so much momentum that there was no point to finish that lap,” said Vettel. “Not great, up and down.

“Some laps felt great, others didn’t. In the end I didn’t get the best out of the car, which is not satisfying but as I said it was difficult for me because some laps it was really good.

“I don’t know why but I didn’t have the grip that I did on the runs before.

“It’s a shame that it happened in Q3, it would have been better to be slower in the other segments but that is what it is today.”

Vettel remains hopeful that he can at least recover to challenge fourth-placed starter Max Verstappen, though conceded Ferrari’s updates that the team brought did not have the desired impact.

“Well we reverted on most of them [the updates] so obviously not the step that we expected,” he said.

“Tomorrow I think we have good pace to have a good race, obviously Mercedes is far away but we should be in the mix with Red Bull.”

Vettel trails Lewis Hamilton in the standings by 62 points.