Realistic Vettel admits 'big gap' to Mercedes

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has admitted that his chances of beating the Mercedes duo at the Red Bull Ring depend on them hitting trouble this weekend.

Vettel enters the event 43 points adrift of points leader Lewis Hamilton, and hasn't led a lap of a grand prix since his sole 2015 win in Malaysia.

"Ideally we always try to fight for the win," said Vettel. "I know that we have a strong package, a strong car, so if everything goes normal we should be a little bit further up again, especially on Saturday.

"But we have to be realistic, challenging Mercedes, we know we need to have a flawless weekend, a perfect weekend and maybe them to have a bit of a struggle – but with normal circumstances they are still favourites and there is quite a big gap."

New regime making positive noises

Vettel also spoke about the potential for Ferrari's development in the second half of the season.

"Already we have done an incredible job if you look at winter testing to where we are now," he said.

"It is not that easy to make the gaps smaller and smaller as Mercedes is improving as well, they introduced a new spec of engine in Canada, they are making progress.

"Our target is to make bigger progress and close the gap, we hope in the second half of the season we can get closer."

Reflections on Montreal

When asked about his charge from 18th to fifth in the Canadian Grand Prix a fortnight ago, Vettel said his pace in the final stint gave him real encouragement going forwards.

"For sure it was more entertaining than races before, normal when you come from the back," he said.

"In the end once I had my position I could extract a bit more the pace of the car, overall [it was] quite exciting and a good recovery, valuable points, we avoided all the risks on the opening lap – which is always a bit messy.

"Fortunately it all worked out and we could get good points."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news