Sebastian Vettel will start the French GP from seventh on the grid after a missed upshift caught him out on his first run in Q3 – leaving the Ferrari driver under pressure with just one run in which to set a time.
On his first run in the top-10 qualifying shootout Vettel couldn’t get into fourth gear out of Turn 9, so he opted to abort the lap without recording a lap time. The German didn’t feel comfortable with his car on the second and final run, and he could not better seventh, losing out to teammate Charles Leclerc, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.
“I don't know why I missed the upshift,” he explained. “And then I lost so much momentum that it was pointless to finish the lap, so I aborted. But then on the last lap I don't know, I just couldn't feel the same car that I had maybe in other parts of qualifying."
“It was difficult for me because some laps it was really good and it was just coming, and other laps, I don't know why I didn't have the grip that I seemed to have the runs before. So, a shame that it happened in Q3, it would've been better to be slower in the other segments, but that's what it is today."
“Not ideal, obviously a bit of a funny session, I didn't get a consistent feel for the car, and didn't extract the maximum today, so can't be happy with that. But on the other hand, I’m looking forward to tomorrow, I think it's much more straightforward and should be more consistent in the race. So let's see what tomorrow brings.”
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