Sebastian Vettel not too concerned about grid penalty in Japan
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he is not too frustrated by the three-place grid penalty he is carrying in Japan, despite the difficulty in overtaking around the tight Suzuka circuit.
Vettel was only fifth in FP2 on Friday, behind teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, and a repeat in qualifying will leave him with a lot of work to do thanks to the penalty he received after the first corner crash in Malaysia.
“It is [difficult], but on the other hand it’s not impossible,” he said when asked about the ease of overtaking. “Thank God we’re not in Monaco.
“They say that it might rain as well at some point this weekend, so I think we need to be ready. For sure it doesn’t help if you are starting a little bit further back, but overtaking is possible here, even though it’s not easy.”
Vettel was not too concerned about losing out to Raikkonen in practice.
“I think he got a better lap. Overall I’m not entirely happy with the balance, but I think it’s something that we can work on. I think in the end obviously we had a run on the softs, and also on the very hard tire in the afternoon. We focused more on the soft in the morning. The balance is not yet there, now we’ll look into the data, and see where we are, also compared to the others, and then go from there.
“For now we need to work on the speed of the car. Ideally you would always love to have more grip around here, because it feels fantastic if you do, but I think we can tune the balance and distribute the grip a little bit better, so that we are in better shape tomorrow.”