Vettel's first Q3 visit in Aston Martin colours breaks a run of 15 races of failing to progress into the final part of qualifying, stretching back to the British Grand Prix last year while driving for Ferrari.

It is also the first time the German has out-qualified Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll, who is running the new upgrade package for this weekend's grand prix.

Reflecting on qualifying tenth at Portimao, Vettel believes it’s the most comfortable he’s felt since joining the Silverstone-based outfit.


“Yeah, despite the difficult conditions, probably yes,” Vettel said. “As I said, things started to click a little bit more than they did previously which is good. But for sure today was a very difficult day.

“The car is all over the place, that’s for most other people. With the wind changing, you can’t see it, you can’t see there’s going to be a gust and you use it. If it hits you from behind, you lose the car. Tricky but overall better, I was a bit happy with my driving.”

Vettel wasn’t entirely happy with his final Q3 effort, as he felt there was more time in the car despite conditions getting worse as the wind picked up at the end of qualifying.

“I was not entirely happy with the final lap, I think the conditions changed a bit,” Vettel added. “Maybe the lap on the used [tyres] didn’t help keep the rhythm up but overall it was for sure better and it started to work a little bit better.

“In qualifying, you should not think about your laps, you should just execute. It felt a bit more like that but I think there’s still more from my side that I need to improve. In the end you don’t get many laps in qualifying trim, with the engine turned up, with new tyres, light on fuel, so it’s only like a handful of laps every weekend.

“But definitely [it] seemed to help me understand what the car needs, where I need to put the car to be faster. Today was a little bit better in that regard but still not the ideal result in terms of, you know, we want both cars in Q3 and further up.”