Sebastian Vettel has said that he was “too aggressive” in his final Q3 run in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
Bottas went fastest after the first flying laps in the top ten shoot-out, pipping Vettel by just 12 thousandths of a second, and it was enough to secure pole position as none of the front-runners improved on their second runs in the session.
Vettel admitted that he was unlucky to miss out on pole and that he left too much time on the table on his first run and over-compensated on his last lap.
“Tomorrow on the grid, I’ll be eight metres behind Valtteri, which will seem strange as the gap today in qualifying was definitely smaller! 12 thousandths is really very little and so I can definitely say I was a little bit unlucky.” said the four-time world champion after qualifying.
“I have to admit that, on my first run, there was maybe some room to be faster, as my aim was to set a good time and then improve on my second set of tyres.
“Unfortunately, I was a bit too aggressive and maybe the track had got a bit slower and that’s where the time that might have put me on pole, escaped me.”
Ferrari struggled on their race pace during Friday free practice, but Vettel believes the car has improved since then, although, if he is to win the race, he will need to get a good start and his team will need to execute the strategy perfectly.
“It will be important to get everything right at the start and not make any mistakes when it comes to our tyre strategy.
“We saw last Sunday that sometimes taking a risk can pay off, so we will study the situation very carefully before the start.
“Friday’s race pace wasn’t that strong, but I think all aspects of the car have improved today, so we will just have to see where we are in the race.”