Sebastian Vettel thanks 'generous' Kimi Raikkonen for Q3 tow

Vettel deal seals 2018's top line-ups (1:54)

Nate Saunders explains why Sebastian Vettel's three-year Ferrari extension confirms the driver pairings for the top three teams in 2018. (1:54)

Sebastian Vettel thanked Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen for giving him a tow on his final Q3 attempt, one which aided him to second on the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel ended the opening runs of Q3 down in fourth but a last ditch effort, aided by his teammate's slipstream after the Finn made a mistake on his final lap, propelled him onto the front row of the grid and behind title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking after qualifying, the German believed he had gained 0.2s of lap time which was crucial in displacing Valtteri Bottas for second.

"Not just on my behalf, I think I had a little bit of help from a friend,'' he said. "Kimi here obviously had to abort his lap and he was very generous in giving me a nice tow in the last sector which I think got me like two-tenths, that helped and made it a little bit comfortable with Valtteri looking at the result.

"It was tricky then getting into the last corner knowing you arrive so much faster with the tow and braking is never easy. It's easy to miss it, the last corner, but I managed to get it right and across the line so that was very useful. The pace has been good this weekend I think less for one lap but more so for long runs so let's see what we can do tomorrow.''

Throughout qualifying, both McLarens decided to give each each other slipstream throughout their laps. Vettel said Ferrari had not decided to do the same ahead of the session and that Raikkonen's decision to give him a tow in the final sector was decided on the spot.

"He wanted to obviously finish that lap but I guess when he did that mistake and where we were positioned he just cruised back to the pits and I guess the team didn't even tell him anything. I think he just saw the red car in the mirror and thought I'd hand him a tow, which is quite nice.

"It was obviously a big help, quite useful for me, but it wasn't planned. I saw some other teams playing around with tows previously in qualifying but it's usually one of those things you can't really plan so you tend to stay away from them. To answer your question it was very spontaneous.''