Qualifying second for the Spanish Grand Prix was a miracle, according to Sebastian Vettel, after his Ferrari mechanics had to complete a rapid engine change on Saturday morning.
Vettel's car had only just received its second power unit of the four he is allowed to use in this Formula One season, but the detection of a water leak in final practice prompted the lightning fast installation of a third different engine.
Ferrari mechanics like greased lightning
His garage beat the clock to get him back out on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but the same could not be said of the German, who locked up late in his second run of Q3 to clock a time 0.051 seconds slower than Mercedes' pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton.
"I've been coming here a long time, done so many laps, [but] the last chicane is a tricky one," he said during an on-track interview immediately after the session.
"[Our] second run was really good up until that final chicane.
"Big thank you to the team because we had to change the engine [at the] last minute. Today is for all the mechanics. It is a miracle they got me out.
"Unbelievable, they did an engine change sub two hours. There's a lot of bits and bobs that need to be reconnected. It would have been nice to get them pole but hopefully a good race tomorrow."
Vettel leads the F1 driver's standings
Hamilton is 13 points behind leader Vettel in the drivers' standings after he could only qualify fourth and then finish in that position at last weekend's Russian Grand Prix.
The three-time world champion, though, welcomed an improved performance following upgrades to his W08.
"Amazing job by the team and super proud we can get back up there and have a better weekend," he said.
"The first lap of Q3 was really good, the second was so-so."
Bottas with technical trouble too
Like Vettel, Hamilton's team-mate Valterri Bottas, who won his first F1 GP last time out in Sochi, also had to overcome technical problems to claim third on the grid.
"The guys did a great job getting the car ready," the Finn said.
"We had to go back to the old engine this morning and it wasn't the best lap of my weekend. It's not a massive issue having the old engine."