Sebastian Vettel felt that he had a shot at denying Mercedes pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix, only for the weather gods to dictate otherwise.

The German upset the Silver Arrows' applecart somewhat by putting in a late flying lap to claim top spot on the morning practice timesheet, and went into the three-phase qualifying session believing that he had a good chance of doing the same in perhaps the most crucial timed session of the season. When it came down to it, however, both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had enough in hand to keep the Ferrari down in third spot...

"I didn't really get the most out of the car today," Vettel conceded after posting a poor final lap, "I am generally happy with the result, but I think it was a bit too cool for us today.

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"Everyone was struggling a little bit to warm up their tyres, which sounds surprising because they were the supersoft, but it was a shame that the sun was hiding behind the clouds!"

Having generally played second fiddle to Mercedes all season, Vettel was not unduly surprised to find himself third fastest at the end of the session, but admitted that getting that far hadn't been quite as smooth as it should have been...

"I wasn't completely calm at the end of Q," he revealed, having found himself perilously close to the drop zone that ultimately claimed Williams' Valtteri Bottas amongst its more unexpected victims, "Obviously I knew roughly that the times should be fine with what we thought would be enough [to progress], but it was close. When you see yourself dropping down [the order] and the time ticking away from you so that you can't really react, go out and have another run, it is not nice but, in the end, it was okay.

"Nevertheless, I think it was a good session for us and P3 is a good place to start from tomorrow. We did the right thing in targeting the last part of qualifying but, unfortunately, it was not enough to get really, really close and put [Mercedes] under pressure. But tomorrow is another day and, hopefully, we can split them and have an exciting race."