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Sebastian Vettel has conceded he lost his rhythm entering the pole shootout but managed a last-lap recovery to take third on the grid behind the dominant Mercedes duo at Monza.
The Ferrari driver has claimed the top spot behind the dominant Mercedes duo who solely battled for pole position with Vettel edging team-mate Raikkonen by one-tenth as the Italian manufacturer locked out the second row.
After the opening flyers in Q3 Vettel was in a provisional fourth behind Raikkonen but a vast improvement on his final qualifying lap saw him leapfrog the Finn despite a hairy moment out of the final turn in the blast to the finish line.
“I wasn't happy with my first shot at Q3, I lost the rhythm a bit but I was obviously able to get it back and I had a good lap,” Vettel said. “I went just on the limit on the last corner I actually lost a bit as I was a little late getting on the throttle.
“I think the lap itself after not a great start first sector where I was still losing out a little bit compared to Q2, I brought it back in sector two and three so I am very happy for us to lock out the second row as a team.”
Despite Vettel's satisfaction at clawing back to third, the German is aware of Ferrari's performance deficit to Mercedes even though it has applied its final power unit upgrade for the year at its home race.
“Not entirely happy because the gap is quite big to those guys ahead and it looks like they have been in a world of their own today but who knows what happens tomorrow,” he said. “To see all the support we get here is massive and a big thanks to everyone around the track, of course the Tifosi, hopefully we can give something back to them tomorrow.”
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