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Vettel eyes Mercedes payback in Spain after qualifying thrashing

Vettel eyes Mercedes payback in Spain after qualifying thrashing

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Vettel eyes Mercedes payback in Spain after qualifying thrashing

Vettel eyes Mercedes payback in Spain after qualifying thrashing

Sebastian Vettel hopes that changes to Ferrari's set-up will enable them to take the fight to Mercedes in the Spanish Grand Prix after they were roundly trounced in qualifying. Vettel qualified third, but eight tenths of a second adrift of pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas.

Indeed, Bottas was in a league of his own at the Circuit de Catalunya, with Lewis Hamilton six tenths adrift in second on a lap that was slightly compromised.

With the Silver Arrows in a dominant position in both championships after recording four one-two finishes from as many races, Ferrari hoped upgrades would help them turn the tables in Barcelona, where they looked dominant in pre-season testing.

Having seen Mercedes seemingly stretch out their one-lap advantage, Vettel hopes for payback come race day.

"We tried a lot of stuff yesterday and again today, different directions and we ended up getting the best out of the car today which wasn't enough," he explained.

"We are certainly not satisfied but I am very happy with the approach, with the chance that we took in terms of trying something daring, something that ultimately it will pay off.

"Maybe not today at least, but hopefully it will help us in terms of pace for tomorrow. And hopefully it sets us off in the right direction for the next couple of weeks."

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Vettel's fastest lap time was in fact slower than the best time he managed during pre-season testing at the same circuit. Although it was on harder tyres, such issues clearly did not affect Mercedes.

"We need to dig deep," he said. "Now is not the first time we are losing out and not the second time nor the third time.

"It is a consistent trend that we seem to lose, in some places, independent of conditions, sunshine, clouds, tyres and compounds and so on.

"There is a bit more for us to understand but if we had the solution surely it would be on the car already."

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