May 25, 2013, 10:20 AM EDT
Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has accepted full responsibility for failing to qualify on pole position for tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix, having made a small error in Q3 which meant that he could not challenge Nico Rosberg at the front.
The Red Bull driver finished 3rd in the final session behind Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, but he feels that the 0.104 second gap would have been surmountable if he hadn’t made a slight error.
“I think it was very close,” Vettel said in the post-qualifying press conference.
“Mercedes were very quick all weekend and we know they are good over one lap. But I don’t want that to sound like an excuse, I think there was a bit more than a tenth missing and I think I had that today, but it didn’t come together on the last lap.
“The car was really, really good so if anyone is to blame it is me. I am not entirely happy with the last lap, but still pretty happy there is not a Ferrari or a Lotus ahead.”
Having beaten his closest championship rivals in qualifying, Vettel has now set his sights on getting ahead of both Mercedes drivers, believing that he can beat both Rosberg and Hamilton on the same strategy.
“Tomorrow I think Mercedes will have to stop at least as much as us so I think sitting in third is a good result and should be a good opportunity to win the race.”
Mercedes have suffered with heavy rear tire wear so far this season, and they have failed to win from any of the three pole positions they have claimed in 2013. Therefore, Red Bull will be pleased to have locked out the second row, and will be undoubtedly be in the running for the win on Sunday.
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