Sebastian Vettel lost out on pole position in Brazil by just 0.123s to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Afterwards he admitted to being rather taken aback by his rival’s straight-line speed, especially as Ferrari has been the dominant force in this department of late.
“I’m a bit surprised with the speed Honda had down the straights, I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “I think it’s funny a little bit. I don’t know-how.
“I think we have been fast down the straights for the entire season starting for the first couple of races and we are still fast and they haven’t been, and now they are.”
Alluding to Red Bull’s recent rule query over fuel flow metering – which Verstappen had quipped might have been the reason for Ferrari’s Austin performance dip – Vettel joked: “I don’t know, maybe they need to make an explanation.”
However, it’s worth noting that it was Ferrari counterpart Charles Leclerc who set the fastest times in Sectors 1 and 3 at Interlagos – the power sectors – with Verstappen setting the pace in the twisty middle sector.