Vettel baffled by qualifying setback

Having seen his Formula One world championship lead cut in half last week, Sebastian Vettel qualified way down the grid at Monza.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel   -  Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel was left baffled by his weak showing at Monza on Saturday as the Formula One world championship leader qualified eighth fastest.

Ferrari had a day to forget on home soil as it struggled more than most in the sodden conditions, with Vettel way down on title rival and pole sitter Lewis Hamilton, though grid penalties for Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will see the German start sixth.

After Hamilton secured a record 69th pole spot for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, Vettel – whose advantage in the drivers' standings was cut to seven points last time out in Belgium – was left to ponder what had gone wrong.

"I have no idea what the problem was," he said. "I was surprised by how quick the others went. At this stage we don't know why.

"It was an important day, but it is what it is and we will see how it goes tomorrow.

"We have a good car so we don't need to be afraid. The car is quick, we know that and you can overtake here – it should be a fun race.

"Years ago we were able to run in the wet. It is fine for us – we are sat in the dry but for the fans out there it is pretty ugly."

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