"I think it was just a combination of things", he admitted.
"I am not happy with sixth, but am I happy with the way I drove and actually what we did, yes".
Vettel led from start to finish with his victory assured with a dozen laps remaining after Valtteri Bottas, who had briefly closed to within three seconds of the Ferrari, made a mistake rounding a backmarker and ran over the grass. In qualifying he finished at the back of the customary battle between the top three teams, almost 0.2s off Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, who managed to split the Mercedes drivers and claim third position. It is very tight on the times, one or two tenths I think we could have found today, would maybe put us in a different position and maybe in a different perception from the outside. 'I will never do that because it has brought me to where I am right now, and after the race it is not the right time to talk.
"On my last try in Q3, I suddenly had a lot of understeer entering Turn 2, I struggled to turn the vehicle round", said Raikkonen. "A very good day". We were chasing our tail a bit more. The second approach, I found that little bit, and now I thought, 'OK, now I just have to repeat what I did before, ' but I struggled and I lost a little bit of time.
"Yesterday was really hard but being on pole here with Ferrari means something extra".
Meanwhile, qualifying didn't start as planned for Romain Grosjean. "It's great when you have a session like that".
Having clocked banker laps, they switched to "hyper-softs" on which Vettel was slowed by heavy traffic as Ricciardo topped Verstappen with a new track record lap of 1:11.434.
"We were briefly talking about what we wanted to do, trying to figure everything out". "We need to understand more about everything today but let's see what we can do tomorrow". For me it was straightforward - the first lap was there.
As he returned to the pits after his final Q3 attempt, Verstappen was congratulated over the radio by Red Bull boss Christian Horner, to which he replied: "I guess I still know how to drive!"
While the Red Bulls pitted earlier than the other leading cars were scheduled to due to starting the race on the hypersoft tyre, Hamilton also came in around the same time despite being on ultrasofts that should have been able to last much longer.