Sebastian Vettel wants Ferrari to understand why it was so uncompetitive during qualifying for the German Grand Prix.

Having been close to Red Bull throughout practice – with Kimi Raikkonen with 0.2s of the fastest time in FP3 – Ferrari could only secure the third row on the grid behind Mercedes and Red Bull in qualifying. Vettel was a second slower than Nico Rosberg in Q3 and says it is more the gap to the teams behind that concerns him rather than the deficit to Mercedes.

“Well I think it’s clear that in qualifying we obviously weren’t as competitive as we wanted to be, not just looking ahead but also looking behind,” Vettel said. “If you look at that we were two tenths quicker than Force India, I think no discussion we are usually a lot quicker than two tenths, the gap is bigger than two tenths behind.

“Clearly we didn’t get everything right so we need to understand why. On my side I was struggling to get a good feel for the car, I was very happy with the lap in Q3 but it wasn’t good enough, simple as that. Not good enough to put us where we normally belong.”

However, Vettel is confident Ferrari will not suffer the same problems on Sunday, believing the team is more competitive in race trim.

“I think in the race things should be a lot more clear, we should be a lot more competitive compared to today. Usually we do pick up quite a bit of competitiveness from Saturday to Sunday. Obviously it’s up to us to understand and to find the reasons why we are not where we should be and where we can be on Saturday. For Sunday I am a little bit less worried.”

With Raikkonen looking quicker throughout Saturday, Vettel admitted his team-mate had beaten him fair and square at Hockenheim.

“I haven’t seen our laps yet to see how it compares but yeah at some point, I think this morning he started to feel more comfortable, I was starting to feel more uncomfortable so I was starting to drift away. Obviously he started off on a better foot in quali and was just quicker throughout.

“In the end I got reasonably close, in the beginning it looked worse, and that’s why I’m saying the last lap I had, I’m very happy but obviously Kimi found a quicker way to make it around the track and fair enough he deserved to be in front.”

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