Sebastian Vettel has blamed being held up in qualifying by yellow flags and other drivers for preventing him on improving his time in the pole shootout which has stranded him to a third row start.
The Ferrari driver was unable to improve upon his opening Q3 flyer on his final run after being forced to slow down under double waved yellow flags caused by Fernando Alonso's spin, while Vettel has complained about traffic caused by Daniel Ricciardo and Jenson Button not allowing him to complete the lap at his maximum.
Vettel, who called his Q3 time of 1m 20.874s 'one of the worst laps in the weekend', believes he could have found up to a second in gains which would have effectively put in within touching distance of a potential pole position comparing it to Nico Rosberg's time.
Despite conceding his pace is probably not comparable to Mercedes' true single lap speed, having also been forced to ease off under double waved yellows, Vettel is certain he wasn't able to produce the full potential from his Ferrari.
“We can improve significantly but we were not able to show that,” Vettel said. “I think I had the best time in the first run in Q3 but it was one of the worst laps in the weekend so I think we could have improved quite a lot, roughly around a second if everything goes well.
“But there was the yellow flag and I couldn't finish the lap but I think we don't have to hide with the pace that we could have had today.”
“To be honest we know that we are losing a bit everywhere, probably not as strong as Mercedes this weekend, that's fair to say, but equally in qualifying let's say without the traffic in the end then at least when I passed the yellow flags with a clear track and no traffic I think both Daniel and Jenson could have done a better job.”