Sebastian Vettel blames lack of power for Mercedes gap

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 23, 2014, 23:57 PM IST

Spa: Sebastian Vettel blamed a lack of power from his Renault engine for the massive gap between his third placed Red Bull and the two Mercedes on the front row of the grid for Sunday`s Belgian Grand Prix.

The four-time world champion was 2.126 seconds adrift of pole-man Nico Rosberg and 1.898 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton.

"The reason we`re behind is fairly simple," said Vettel. "We know we are down on power. Mercedes can run a bit more wing level, they have more down-force and can still take that wing on the straight - it`s the reason.

"Hopefully tomorrow in the race, we will be closer in race pace and closer than the last couple of races."

Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified fifth, said Red Bull had run a dry set-up in qualifying because it could not afford to compromise straight-line speed with extra down-force.

The Australian said: "We`ve set the car up for a dry race so, even though we`re typically quite strong in the wet, we knew that our set-up would bring us down to the level of some guys around us.

"The gap to Mercedes was pretty big. We thought we`d be able to close it up a bit in the wet. They were quick straight away, and it hurts a little bit, but it`s alright.

"An explanation for now is that we`ve banked a little bit on a dry race tomorrow so we`ve set the car up for that. In a nutshell, we`ve taken down-force off for that.

"With the way our straight-line speed is, we need a chance of fighting, moving forward or defending, and that`s why we`ve gone the way we have."