• European Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel expects tough fight for victory

ESPN Staff
June 23, 2012 « Unwell Glock misses qualifying | Hamilton expected low grid slot »
Sebastian Vettel celebrates taking pole position in Valencia © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel is expecting a tough and unpredictable race at the European Grand Prix on Sunday after qualifying on pole position.

Vettel has won the last two races at Valencia from pole and is hoping to make it a hat-trick on Sunday. However, the unpredictable nature of this season means Vettel is not taking anything for granted.

"It would be nice, no doubt, but I think it's going to be a difficult race and a difficult race to predict," he said. "We've seen too much this year to sit here on Saturday afternoon and predict what's going to happen, so I think it's easier to predict the result of the football tonight than the race tomorrow. I think it's going to be tough, hotter than today and there will be a lot of cars to look out for. Ferrari have been competitive, Williams have been quick yesterday in their long runs, Lotus have proven in Bahrain that they will be there in hot conditions. Grid position is important but maybe not as important [as it used to be]."

Vettel said it had been a tough qualifying session and that the car only really started working at his best in the final session of qualifying.

"To be honest Q1 and Q2 were not really to our liking and we were struggling a little bit to find the balance that we had early on this weekend - yesterday and this morning during practice," he said. "It was a good recovery throughout qualifying and unfortunately we had to use the second set of options in Q2. It was the right call because it was very tight and I think my time I set with the first set would not have been good enough. In the last session I knew that the track would come in a little bit more and if I tied the lap together it should have been good enough to have a look at pole. In the end it was a surprising gap, but all in all I felt very good this weekend and the boys were working incredibly hard in the garage and all the people in the factory as well to make sure we bring a couple of new parts to the car so I hope they work well for the race as well."

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