Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 5 views remaining

You have read 10 stories this month. After 15, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 60 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 15 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 60 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.


Glenn Freeman
AUTOSPORT.com Editor

autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
F1 NEWS 

Belgian GP: Vettel blames power deficit for gap to Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel says a lack of power is the reason why his Red Bull was so far behind the Mercedes drivers in Belgian Grand Prix qualifying.

The reigning Formula 1 world champion qualified third at Spa, but was a massive 2.126 seconds slower than polesitter Nico Rosberg, and 1.898s behind Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel put the gap purely down to his Renault engine being down on power compared to the Mercedes V6.

"The reason we're behind is fairly simple," said Vettel. "We know we are down on power.

"Mercedes can run a bit more wing level, they have more downforce and can still take that wing on the straight - it is the reason.

"Hopefully tomorrow we will be closer in race pace and closer than the last couple of races."

His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified fifth, said Red Bull had run a dry set-up in qualifying because it could not afford to compromise straightline speed with extra downforce.

"Realistically we've set the car up for a dry race, so even though we're typically quite strong in the wet, we knew that our set-up would bring us down to the level of some guys around us," he said.

"The gap to Mercedes was pretty big. We thought we'd be able to close it up a bit in the wet. They were quick straight away, and it hurts a little bit. But it's alright.

"An explanation for now is that we've banked a little bit on a dry race tomorrow so we've set the car up for that. In a nutshell, we've taken downforce off for that.

"With the way our straightline speed is, we need a chance of fighting, moving forward or defending, and that's why we've gone the way we have."

Ricciardo reckoned a wild trip over the run-off at Blanchimont on his last lap cost him "a few tenths". He was 0.194s slower than his team-mate.

"It wasn't the quickest way around the corner, but when I went off I was just hoping to stay on some part of the track," said the winner of the last race in Hungary.

"There's a big puddle just after the AstroTurf, and I was hoping it wasn't just going to spit me into the wall."

Subs
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON
FOLLOW AUTOSPORT ON TWITTER
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Haymarket