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Sebastian Vettel: Mercedes gap 'nothing to be afraid of'

Sebastian Vettel says he is "not worried" by the gap to Formula One rivals Mercedes in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, despite finishing over a second off the pace.

Ferrari could only manage third and fourth place on the grid for Sunday's grand prix, with both drivers qualifying over a second adrift of Lewis Hamilton's pole position lap. After languishing in the lower reaches of the top ten in the final segment of qualifying, championship leader Vettel admits he was relieved to recover to snatch fourth.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
"Pace-wise I'm not worried because I think the car in general is quick, nothing to be afraid of," Vettel said. "It was important to get the lap in and make the jump to fourth. I think third was probably the maximum. As a team we got what we could today and tomorrow I think can be a different story, the race pace can be quite strong.

"I think it's one of the tracks where you need to have the car in the window and tyres in the window, and then, if you feel confident, you extract a lot of lap time as well. I'm not too bothered by the gap, it's not nice but I'm equally not worried. The car was very good yesterday and in the long run we looked very competitive. We should be fine.

"I think we, as a team, probably prefer not to talk so much and just get on with it. Today we probably didn't get everything right but its part of the game. As I said other people were doing a better job and therefore their qualified in front of us."

Vettel endured a disrupted session after his team was forced to change his engine within a two-hour window between final practice and the start of Q1. While he admitted he struggled to find a rhythm in qualifying, the German refused to make excuses for Ferrari's apparent lack of pace over one lap.

"In Q2 I started to feel OK but not great and in Q3 again I was probably starting on the wrong foot. Then it takes a bit of a while and in the end you don't have time to develop a rhythm you just have to go for it. Considering the tyres were not as hot as they should have been it was OK. But I don't like excuses. We deserved third and fourth today and that's what we got."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/19726560/sebastian-vettel-mercedes-gap-afraid-of

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