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Vettel: Ferrari must be "sly as a fox" to score in Bahrain


Sebastian Vettel feels Ferrari needs to be "sly as a fox" with its Formula 1 tyre strategy to score points in Bahrain after failing to reach Q3.

Vettel qualified 11th at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday night, narrowly missing out on a place in Q3 after struggling on his final lap.

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It marked the 11th race in a row where Vettel has failed to make it through to Q3, with the German sounding frustrated over team radio upon learning of the result.

But Vettel did manage to outqualify Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, who could only finish 12th overall.

"It was very tough and tight," Vettel said. "I think Sector 2 wasn't ideal, I was too close to George [Russell], maybe that didn't help, and I was struggling after the stop and go in the final sector to get the fronts really to work.

"Maybe there was a little bit more [time], so Sector 2 was for sure not super clean. Overall I think it's more or less where we belong this weekend.

"Tomorrow is the race, and in the race it's not about one lap, so we'll see what we can do."

Drivers have been struggling with tyre management throughout the Bahrain weekend so far, prompting all of the top 10 to decide to qualify on the medium compound tyre.

Vettel said there would be a big "tyre battle" for Ferrari, meaning it had to be canny with its strategy if it wished to score points.

"This track is very rough, very tough on tyres, and that will be the key tomorrow to manage those," Vettel said.

"I think if we are sly as a fox, we have a good chance. If not, then it will be a long race. I still believe that there is a good chance to score some points."

Leclerc felt there was "definitely a bit more" time to find during his lap after ailing to his second straight Q2 exit.

"You can always do better, but I think that's the case for everyone," Leclerc said.

"At Turn 4 I think I lost quite a bit, but yeah, it's like this, we'll start P11 and P12, the first ones to have a free tyre choice.

"I don't know how much we can benefit from that, because I'm pretty sure that starting on the medium for the top 10 is not so bad.

"But yeah, we did our best, and today that's what was possible."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Luke Smith