Vettel hails turnaround after Friday issues
22 October 2017 – Sebastian Vettel has heaped praise on Ferrari after significant car changes contributed to him claiming a front row start for the United States Grand Prix.
Vettel struggled during Friday practice at the Circuit of the Americas, reporting that the front of his car "felt like jelly", which prompted an overnight chassis swap.
He enjoyed a much smoother FP3 session and gradually built up speed through qualifying to claim second on the grid, two-tenths adrift of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel is 59 points down on Hamilton and needs to ensure that he falls no more than 64 behind in Sunday's race to keep his title hopes alive.
"I think we can be very happy with the result," said Vettel.
"It was a bit of a slow start [on Friday], we had a couple of problems, I didn't feel comfortable in the car and we felt that something was not right.
"It was a big job overnight, but the team is fantastic.
"We've had a couple of weekends in a row with a lot of work, last-minute engine changes, and now a chassis change overnight, and [the mechanics] didn't break the curfew.
"Today was a lot better, I was much happier with the car.
"I was not finding the rhythm straightaway in qualifying, I struggled a bit with a couple of corners, but I made a big step in the final lap.
"In the end we were closer than probably we expected."
Vettel reckons Ferrari will be able to put up more of a fight in race trim.
"I believe that our race pace is really good... in qualifying all year we've been just a little bit behind, so well done to Lewis, he did two great laps," said Vettel.
"For tomorrow, if the car feels like it does today, it should be good."
Kimi Räikkönen qualified fifth in the other Ferrari.