At the end of a tense qualifying session, Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen flashed through the finish line of the Bahrain International Circuit to take first and second spot on tomorrow’s starting grid. It is the 214th pole position for Scuderia Ferrari and the 59th front row lock-out since 1950, while Sebastian claimed his sixth pole for the Cavallino squad and 51st overall. On a track that calls for power, traction and tire management, the two SF71Hs proved their worth and the whole team gave their best.
“I think we have a good base and the car is working”, Seb commented. “We have improved in our work on the car. In the beginning it’s always a bit difficult, but now everything is getting better. So, it was nice to keep the car alive. I felt quite good from the start and made some progress during the session. I am very happy with the last laps I did, and also obviously with the result I got. I was really glad to see how the car was responding today. We worked on the setup and tried different things. In Australia the track is tricky and bumpy, so it was difficult to change too much and draw any conclusions. But after the race and with the mileage we did, I think we understood the car better. It’s nice to see that we have built a very strong car and that today we are able to put it on the front row, beating everybody else. It’s been a great result that the whole team deserves. However, the ‘big day’ is tomorrow”.
Kimi’s last qualifying attempt was slightly hampered by traffic, but nonetheless was good enough for second: “My last run was far from perfect; there was traffic and we couldn’t improve. We did not give ourselves a proper chance to do the best we could. The car had a lot of speed, but we did not take full advantage of that. I’m sure there was a lot more to come. Anyway, we start the race in a good position, so I’m a bit disappointed today but that’s how it goes.. Tomorrow is another day and we should have a good car; we hope for a better result. The key point will be tire management; it will be tricky for everybody. We’ll try to make the best of it, and I’ll go as fast as I can”.