“Two thousandths are not the world now and of course it’s a shame when it’s so tight,” Vettel sums up. “I know that we could have been faster, but you have to set the time at the right time and I didn’t succeed.”
He explains why: “I didn’t have the grip I was expecting and had trouble getting the lap together because the car was up and down this weekend. I struggled with the rear axle in the middle part in particular and couldn’t find the right balance.”
Vettel’s luck in misfortune is the flood of penalties from the competition: seven cars are put back with engine penalties, so the Hessian starts from tenth place on Sunday. “We benefit from that and can still have a good race from where we start,” he says. “I don’t know what kind of car we’ll have tomorrow, but there’s quite a bit in it. Of course I hope for points.”
“We know that tomorrow will be a tough race, but today it went better than we had hoped: We assumed that we would be eliminated in Q1, so it’s a positive surprise,” explains Schumacher.
Haas team boss Günther Steiner has the carrot and the stick. The strict Austrian praised Schumacher in comparison to his teammate Magnussen: “It wasn’t Kevin’s best run today, he made a mistake on the brakes several times. It’s great that Mick survived the first qualifying lap – especially when you consider that he hardly drove in the final practice session (sensor defect; ed.). A very good job.”
Alone: Steiner is not satisfied with the performance in the second segment. “He misbraked in turn one and that was it. So you can say: I’m surprised that we’ve come this far, but also disappointed that we have the performance and then don’t deliver.”
Words that should only spur Schumacher on for Sunday: “It’s pretty easy to overtake on this track, so we’ll do our best and try. My hope is still that we can move forward and there is always a lot of action in Spa, certainly tomorrow as well.” Then Schumacher can answer his team boss on the track that his father Michael once called the living room.