Sebastian Vettel says he is not planning to try anything crazy to gain positions following a difficult qualifying at Monza. The Red Bull driver needs a strong result at the Italian Grand Prix in order to reduce the gap to championship leader Lewis Hamilton, 31 points ahead in the standings. But Vettel will start down from sixth position as Red Bull endured its worst qualifying of the year.
Despite his place on the grid, Vettel says the best approach for the race is to stay calm and see how the event develops.
"I said earlier that according to all the experts who were speaking up lately about giving me driving lessons and so on, I have two choices – and I am not quite sure what I want to do," Vettel said. "Either, I could follow the experts and how they analyzed: I could be a bowling ball and just get rid of the five cars ahead. Or, just approach the race as I usually do: normal. Just try to do the smartest that I can do!
"It is a long race. We know it is not an easy one, because simply we are not the quickest. We do not have the pace here, we don't have the speed on the straights, so we will see what we can do. The weapons we fight with are fairly limited but we are here to find out - as we said. We are still optimistic, the pace was good on Friday and in the long runs. I reckon Ferrari was lighter than McLaren and us, so we will see what we are up to tomorrow."
The German driver admitted that having Ferrari's Fernando Alonso on pole is a positive thing, with Hamilton starting right in front in fifth.
"I think being in my position, I am only sixth for the race, but anything can happen," he said. "It is a long race and we know it won't be easy for us to pass a lot of cars with the speed we have, but I don't think it is a bad thing to have someone like Fernando in front.
"Looking at the championship, it would be worse if Lewis was on pole. Anything can happen. Speaking about Lewis, he is the fastest on the straight-line. If he has a good race tomorrow, I don't think he has any problems to overtake people. That is why we are here and we will have to find out."
The Red Bull driver, whose team expected the Monza race to be its weakest yet, said he was upbeat following a strong Friday, but things got worse in qualifying when rivals raised their game.
"On Friday we had a very good day and on Saturday morning too we had very good pace. So we were positively surprised by how quick we were. Over the season you get a feel and idea of fuel loads, and how competitive you might be, and which range the others are testing in.
"So we were actually quite confident. And going into qualifying, right from Q1, we struggled to get up to speed and up to laptime, and repeat the times from the morning.
"The others did what you expected – just went quicker. Usually come Saturday afternoon, you bolt new tires on, you take the fuel out and you go quicker.
"For us, it wasn't really the case and for myself in qualifying it was quite slow on the straights. We knew that this would be a tough circuit for us but we lost a little bit to ourselves compared to the morning and Friday, where we still had fuel in the car."