Vettel pins hopes on race strategy after qualifying in ninth position in Monaco GP

Sebastian Vettel reckons anything is possible in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix and remains positive that his strategy of starting on the soft compound option tyre could play into his hands during the race

Vettel pins hopes on race strategy after qualifying in ninth position in Monaco GP

Last year's winner from pole, Vettel gave up on his qualifying attempt in Q3 in order to save his tyres, and will start from ninth on the grid after Pastor Maldonado takes his 10-place grid penalty.

But while the world champion accepted that starting mid-pack made his race more challenging, he suggested that being able to run longer on his first stint than all those that qualified on supersoft tyres could play into his hands in terms of track position.

"Well it's Monaco," he said. "Some people say it might rain tomorrow so that would make a big difference, but nevertheless we have the possibility to start on the hard tyre and have a different kind of race.

"Usually it's all about track position and we start from P9 and we have some cars ahead, but it could be different after the first stops, so we will see what we can do."

Vettel admitted that he would prefer to have started on the front row - his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber took the second Monaco pole position of his career on Saturday - but explained that a set-up change between FP3 and qualifying scuppered his chances.

"This morning I was very happy, to be honest, and I think we were quite competitive," he said. "We were going quicker than we were this afternoon with less effort.

"But yeah, we decided to change the car a little bit and it turned out to make a big difference. So I think we ended up worse than we thought we would.

"Obviously it's completely different when you put fuel in the car but we will get an answer tomorrow. We are starting on the hard tyres, that was the idea why we went out on the harder tyres and we will really go from there.

"Obviously we would have loved to have qualified at the front but after Q1, and in particular Q2, we saw that pole position was not really in reach for me. That's why we decided to go the other way and we will see what we can do tomorrow."

Vettel won last year's race employing a one-stop strategy but questioned whether the same plan would be possible in Sunday's race.

"I think it's always open here because you never know what is going to happen in the race," he said. "It's a long race and there could be a safety car. You might be able to catch up, or lose all your advantage over someone else. It really depends. I think it can be fairly open.

"Last year I think we made the one-stop work but I think it is borderline. I'm not sure whether we can do that again this year. I think some people will try tomorrow. Other people will not.

"It's really difficult, in particular because we didn't have the Thursday running when you get a better idea of how the cars behave."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Simon Strang
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