Vettel in ‘decent’ position, Stroll searching for balance

Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll head into Sunday’s British Grand Prix with different odds of achieving a good result after the Aston Martin pair’s contrasting performances in Sprint Qualifying.

Vettel gained two positions from his initial spot on the grid to finish the Saturday afternoon event P8. The German entertained the fans with a spirited battle with fellow F1 veteran Fernando Alonso who had enjoyed a blistering opening lap.

Vettel had hoped that the Alpine charger’s soft tyre choice would play in his favour, but despite the heavy degradation the Spaniard managed to fend off his rival all the way to the checkered flag.

“I have enjoyed this unusual weekend format so far,” said Vettel after Sprint Qualifying.

“It was interesting to have the intense moment yesterday evening followed by the Sprint today, which can go either way.

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“For us, it went well and we gained some places for the race tomorrow, and some others lost ground. Fernando made up a lot of places on lap one – starting on the Soft tyres – and I thought he would struggle more in the final laps.

“I was close behind him, but could not make the move to overtake. This result puts us in a decent starting position for tomorrow, which will be a very different race with the strategy options.”

Vettel’s Aston teammate Lance Stroll will have his work cut out for him in Sunday’s race which he will start from a lowly P14.

The Canadian gained just one position in the 30-minute sprint after suffering from poor rear grip, but the 22-year-old was hopeful of improving his form in what he believes will be a “long race”.

©AstonMartin

“It was good to make up a little bit of ground in the Sprint, but I think we are still searching for the optimal car balance,” Stroll said.

“It was challenging to make up any further places as the midfield bunched up and we ended up in a long train of cars.

“The positive is that the short race gives us more relevant data to go over and look to find the improvements we need.

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“It is a long race tomorrow; anything can happen, plus the heat will be a factor, as well as the free choice of tyres, so I am looking forward to coming back stronger tomorrow.”

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