Vettel admits he 'chickened out' on final run
11 November 2017 – Sebastian Vettel conceded that he "chickened out" on the brakes into the Senna 'S' on his final run during qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, as he slipped behind Valtteri Bottas.
Ferrari driver Vettel led the way after the opening Q3 laps, his time of 1.08.360 putting him 0.082s clear of Mercedes rival Bottas, but did not improve on his second run, falling 0.058s shy of his benchmark.
Bottas, following behind on track, clocked a time of 1:08.322 to inch 0.038s ahead of Vettel, recording his third career pole in the process.
Vettel admitted that a slightly conservative approach at the start of his lap ultimately cost him too much time, after missing out to Bottas.
"For tomorrow I think it's fine, but I would've loved to be ahead, it was close," said Vettel.
"I think I chickened out a little bit on the brakes on the final run into Turn 1 and lost a bit too much time so... from there the lap was fine.
"I knew I had a little bit left in the last sector, at the last corner, but by then I think I was already behind.
"It was not that bad. I was happy with my first lap. I think it was okay.
"Three hundredths…you always think there's some place you could've got that, but for tomorrow I think our long runs looked good, in particular against Valtteri, so let's see what happens."
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen will line up from third place on the grid.
"My lap could've been better, but it was a bit tricky to keep the tyres in the right window for the first two corners," he commented.
"The last run was better, but it wasn't good enough."