Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has conceded it was probably his own fault he missed out on pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Vettel looked strong in the third and final session and following the opening runs was quickest on a 1 minute 14.333 seconds. However at the end he was unable to match Mercedes duo, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, missing out on P1 to the former by just 0.104 seconds.
Vettel will now line-up in third place on the grid for the sixth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship.
“I was a bit annoyed with my flying lap in Q3; I think I maybe pushed a bit too hard here and there,” he explained. “The start of the lap wasn't bad, but also it wasn't great; with hindsight I should have gone for two flying laps at the start of Q3 and not one, but I decided that. I thought the tyres would be good enough [only] for the first lap.
“I have been struggling all weekend, but in the end it was tight. Pole was probably possible today...”
“Still I am pretty happy there is not a Ferrari or a Lotus ahead,” Vettel added. “Tomorrow I think Mercedes will have to stop at least as much as us so I think sitting in third place is a good result and there should be a good opportunity to win the race. It was expected that Mercedes would be strong. But we have a good race car. We should be able to do well from third tomorrow.”
Team-mate Mark Webber meanwhile will start fourth in the sister car, his best lap a 1m 14.181s, two tenths off Vettel.
“I'm pretty happy with that,” said the Aussie. “It's very easy to be towards the back when you have a disruptive session with those conditions, but we managed to survive all the tricky sections and put together a reasonably tidy effort. You can always look at timings later and think you could have done things differently, but in the heat of the moment you make the decision as to what you think is right and overall it wasn't too bad.
“The conditions are changing and the tyres are tricky, so starting on the second row here is not bad. It's a long race and a lot of strategy can unfold, so we'll see what we can do from there.”
“A very strong team performance with both cars lining up on the second row of the grid in what was a very tight qualifying session,” was how team boss, Christian Horner summarised qualifying for the Milton Keynes-based outfit. “Sebastian put in a very quick lap at the beginning of Q3 and unfortunately didn't quite have enough to hold on to the pole, but nonetheless a great performance from him and from Mark who once again has done a great job in Monte Carlo.”