Sensing an opportunity, Ferrari grabbed a chance to show the power of their engines and leave Mercedes facing serious problems for the first time this year after a record run of six wins since the start of the season. Leclerc of Monaco started on pole in Bahrain, though Hamilton ended up winning that race. "The steps we took from FP1 (free practice) to FP2 have been very good".
"Now we need to do the same into qualifying".
"We are strong on the long run pace and hopefully it will be the same tomorrow and we can have a good run". We gave it everything I had got.
Vettel, who won from pole position previous year in Canada, flashed Ferrari's power advantage as the German lapped the sun- bathed island circuit with a best lap time of one minute, 10.843 seconds.
Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes was third with a time of 1:12.311.
The defending champion Vettel of Germany snatched pole position from reigning world champ Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the dying moments of the qualifying session. "But it's not like something dramatic or anything, just fine tuning".
But the calm air of the Silver Arrows was upset after 25 minutes when Hamilton smacked his right rear wheel against the wall at the exit of Turn Nine, the impact puncturing his tyre.
Vettel was jubilant over the team radio when he was told the result.
"This is one of the tracks where you need to dare going very close to the walls in numerous places", said Vettel, who also won in Montreal in 2013 with Red Bull.
"I'm happy we managed to qualify in Q2 on medium, so we should be a bit better off tomorrow as the soft was quite poor yesterday with lots of graining", said Vettel. They were faster and in the last sector they were killing us, the timing was right, procedures were ideal, we had P1 for a second, but we knew they were quick.
The story of the day was arguably Ricciardo's brilliant fourth place, and the fact he pipped Red Bull's Pierre Gasly for the position will be especially sweet, after so many questioned the Australian's decision to leave Red Bull for Renault this season.
"If you look over the last 12 years and beyond that, they always shift and change the regulations for the auto, try to improve costs, try to improve overtaking and I think in general the decisions have not been great in all of those years", he added.
Air temperature was 22°C and track temps were up to 35°C when the green light was given for the third and final practice session of the weekend.