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Bahrain Grand Prix 2013: Qualifying will be close, says Vettel

19 April 2013

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel is expecting it to be close in qualifying for the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Vettel began the day with the fourth best time in the opening practice session, he then improved in FP2 and finished up third overall on a 1 minute 34.282 seconds, which left 0.98 seconds off team-mate, Mark Webber and 0.128 seconds off day one pace setter, Kimi Raikkonen.

Speaking after the second practice session, the German noted that the tyres are again the 'dominating factor'.

“It's pretty close. If you look at the opposition then Ferrari and Lotus were strong today and I think it will be close in qualifying,” Vettel confirmed.

“It's important to work with the tyres around the track. I wasn't so happy with my short runs today – but that's why we have the Friday practice sessions I guess; I was happier with the longer runs. The tyres still seem to be the dominating factor."

“The car seems quick, however, so we have to make sure we use that and then we should be on the right page,” added the German.

Webber meanwhile also reckons that Lotus and Ferrari 'look strong': “I would have liked to have got some more running in P2, but I still think we learned what we expected today,” he continued.

“Saturdays are perhaps becoming less important overall than they used to be, but they're still important in terms of traffic. You don't want to be in too much traffic on Sunday, as the tyres don't like being disturbed and wear more which will shorten your first stint – so you still need to be in a good position.

“We still have areas to improve on the car. Lotus and Ferrari look strong and Mercedes is there too,” the Aussie concluded.