Sebastian Vettel says there are still aspects of Ferrari’s 2020 Formula 1 car he “can’t really put an answer to” after a difficult qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Vettel slumped to his second consecutive Q2 exit at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday, qualifying 11th as he missed out on advancing to the final session by just 0.002 seconds.
Ferrari changed Vettel’s chassis ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend in a bid to ease his recent struggles, but the four-time world champion still encountered difficulties in his final Q2 effort.
“The first sector was OK, but then in the middle sector the car started feel more and more nervous,” Vettel explained after qualifying.
“I struggled in particular in Turn 7, losing the rear halfway, so it was difficult to judge how much speed to carry in.
“Also Turn 5 was very tricky for me this afternoon.
“That’s the middle sector, and in the last sector, it got better towards the end, but still very tricky to find the right balance.
“It was one of the better sessions this weekend, but still obviously not good enough.”
Asked if the car had improved at all as a result of the chassis change, Vettel said it remained “up and down”.
“There are some things I can’t really put an answer to,” Vettel said.
“But I’m trying to do everything I can, and ignore all the things that might not be right, and do the best that I can.
“That’s all I can do at the moment.”
Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc managed to make it through to Q3, but could only qualify ninth after also struggling with his car.
Leclerc explained after the session that the SF1000 car was struggling with front-end grip mid-corner, making life difficult around the high-downforce layout in Barcelona.
“I was just not happy with the car today,” Leclerc said.
“This morning I was, the beginning of qualy was OK, but then it fell out, session after session in qualy.
“It just didn’t have enough front end to rotate the car.
“We’ve lost quite a bit of time because of this, so now we need to understand why did this happen.
“It’s something that we regularly have with this car, struggling with the front in mid-corner. Today, there were not really any solutions.”