Sebastian Vettel questions Lewis Hamilton's latest Ferrari comments

Mercedes F1 Boss Claims Ferrari Have The Fastest Car On The Grid

Formula One: Sebastian Vettel gears up to overhaul Lewis Hamilton on Ferrari's homecoming

Sparks fly: Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, right, collides with teammate Sebastian Vettel of Germany at the start of the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay City Circuit.

Hamilton finished 12 seconds behind Vettel last week in second place, although that margin was made larger by the fact the Mercedes driver eased up in the closing laps because he knew he could not catch his rival and was saving the engine for races ahead.

Raikkonen's record lap was clocked in 1min 19.119sec at an average speed of 263.587 kilometres per hour (163.785 miles per hour), convincingly beating the outright record of 1:19.525 set by Juan-Pablo Montoya on the same track in 2004.

Vettel, who trails the Mercedes driver by 17 points, was clearly irked that Raikkonen was allowed to deny him pole, but he was equally frustrated at his own mistakes earlier in the lap.

"The auto is working well, and we hope to confirm that in the next few days", Vettel said.

"I don't know what state of mind they are in, but we are obviously up against the best if you fight at the front, and Mercedes have proved to be the best over the last few years". "We've been making progress especially for the last two years so that's good news".

Ferrari have won 18 times at Monza, more than anyone else.

"[Fans] go insane whether it's practice or now in qualifying so that's nice to see, " Vettel said".

Vettel became F1's then-youngest race victor when he triumphed in Monza in 2008 with Toro Rosso. Everything is lined up in favour of Vettel who did win at Monza in 2013 while he was still winning championships for Red Bull.

Hartley was happy enough with a 16th start place given how close the qualifying times were. Insane small margins today, .05 from getting through to Q2 and 1 tenth behind Pierre.

"I think we should still address the opportunities that exist within our auto, where we need to optimise and only that will make us win the championship".

Mercedes have won in Italy for the past four years, with Hamilton on pole position ever since 2014 and triumphant four times in the past six years - his first coming with McLaren in 2012. At the same time, he said that the pressure racing in front of them is like any other race on the calendar.

Swedish Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson was lucky to escape injury after crashing in spectacular fashion due to a DRS failure. Drivers can make a difference, too.

"It was just fantastic how intense qualifying was, and that's how racing should be".

Max Verstappen was fifth for Red Bull, eight-tenths of a second off the pace, ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Esteban Ocon of Force India, and Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull.

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