Sebastian Vettel insisted he was not disappointed to be starting away from the front row for the first time this season on Sunday, after qualifying third for his home grand prix at the Nurburgring. The world champion instead preferred to highlight his team's strong recovery after revealing he fell into a set-up malaise on Friday.
Vettel qualified less than 0.15sec poleman and teammate Mark Webber at the Nurburgring, having been fastest of all in the morning's free practice session and said that he was satisfied with his performance.
"It is not really a disappointment – obviously I would like to be a bit further up, but I think it was a tough session overall," said Vettel. "I think we had a good recovery yesterday, I didn't really find my way or find my balance with the car.
"This morning the car felt much better, it was not just one change that we did, we tried many things in free practice so we went back a couple of steps in one way and then changed some small tweaks here and there which made the balance much better.
"This afternoon was a tight session, and there was not much missing. In Q3 I had two solid runs and maybe lost out in the last sector, but all in all Mark [Webber] was very quick and did a good lap today, it would have been very close. I'm happy with third and he is on the clean side of the track, so we'll see if it is worth an advantage or not.
Vettel added that rain forecast for tomorrow might add another element of uncertainty into the outcome and render his grid position potentially meaningless.
"I think rain is on the way, question is when or where it will hit circuit, we are in much better shape than yesterday also regarding race pace and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow," he said. "It will be a long race, and with the weather here you never know. In the end it doesn't really matter, what is important is that we have a solid race, target is to win, which is not impossible from third. I'm on the clean side of track, we go forward from there, not often you have people coming here supporting the German drivers so I will make sure I enjoy the race tomorrow."
Vettel also emphasized his determination to perform in front of his home crowd and that he wouldn't just settle for a points finish.
"I don't race and think about the championship all the time, it is important to finish the race tomorrow but first of all I am going to enjoy it. It's not often you have so much support, and it's nice to see the grandstands with people waving national flags. That was very nice. I will enjoy that more than anything else tomorrow whatever the result might be."
Asked whether he would maintain his position if he received any team orders Vettel replied: "I think it always depends on the situation, but if it is in a similar matter to Silverstone if there is nothing to gain and the leader is very far ahead there is no point to try anything silly."