Vettel puzzled by Ferrari's qualifying slump

Sebastian Vettel admits he is at a loss over the Ferrari's disappointing performance in the wet-weather qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel puzzled by Ferrari's qualifying slump
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

Vettel, who entered his team's home event with a seven-point cushion over title rival Lewis Hamilton, was among frontrunners in Q1 and Q2 on intermediate tyres – even though he was noticeably adrift of the pace-setting Mercedes cars.

Rain picked up slightly ahead of the final qualifying segment and Vettel's session took a turn for the worse, as he finished eighth on full wets, 2.5s off poleman Hamilton.

Penalties for Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ahead will promote the German to sixth, but that will still mark his lowest position on the starting grid in 2017.

Asked if he was surprised by his team's underwhelming performance, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen had qualified just one place ahead, Vettel said: "Surprised, let's say, by how quick the others went. Clearly we couldn't go the same pace.

"At this stage we don't know why, I'm sure there's a couple of things we'll look into and try to understand, nevertheless it was an important day. Something didn't work, it didn't come together."

He added: "We were just not quick enough today, both of us, struggling, I guess, and not being able to do the same what other people are doing."

The German reckoned set-up woes were not a likely cause of the disappointing performance – and dismissed suggestions that other teams could've excelled by setting up their cars for the wet conditions.

"You set up the car to go as fast as you can, and the classic rain set-ups don't exist any more. I doubt if anyone set up the car for the wet today."

Asked why he ended up further off the pace at the end of qualifying, he said he didn't know.

"I mean, all of the laps were pretty much the same, the conditions didn't get better in my point of view, so we were doing more or less the same every lap."

Raikkonen, who was well off Vettel's pace in Q1 and Q2, but ended up just under a tenth quicker in the final segment, said: "We are not fast enough. From my car, I don't know about the other car, but I struggle a lot with the grip.

"Either we didn't make the tyres work, or whatever it is, it's very slippery, that's for sure. Especially with the low downforce, you cannot put enough force in the tyres and it's a never-ending story then."

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