Singapore (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel believes he had the car and the speed to take pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, but messed up his best lap because he pushed too much.
The defending four-time world champion said he pushed his Red Bull too hard and went beyond his and the car's limit.
"I think we had a not entirely smooth Q1, and we didn't time it well," said the German winner of the last three Singapore Grands Prix.
"We lost one lap and put an extra lap on a set and in Q2 we went out and decided to come back in. Therefore, in Q3, we only had one new set of tyres - so not a great build-up.
"But in the end I wasn't entirely happy with the lap I had. I thought there was more, but I was probably pushing a bit too much, and overstepped the mark.
"Then, when you over-slip the tyre, you probably go a bit too far and you pay the price in the next corners. And there are a lot of corners here…."
Vettel ended up qualifying in fourth place behind his Red Bull team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo, and forecast a difficult race ahead.
"I think it will be very tricky tomorrow (Sunday), because if everyone's pace is like we saw today we are all very, very close to each other," he said.
"If you can go two tenths faster around here, then you will not overtake. So it is not straightforward, but the tyres will fall apart at some stage and then create a mess, so that is what hopefully we can wait for.
“And hopefully we are not falling apart before the others are in trouble, but we will see…."