Malaysian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel says his team needs to keep its feet on the ground during this weekend's third Formula 1 World Championship round in Shanghai.
Vettel enters the race just three points behind world championship leader Lewis Hamilton, but says his team mustn’t get carried away.
“We are realistic about what we can achieve,” said Vettel on Thursday. “You want to confirm you have a strong package, a strong car, but knowing that Mercedes is in a very strong position.
When asked if his pace was “real” in Sepang, he replied: “It was for real two weeks ago, I don’t think Mercedes backed off – or anyone else.
"I think a few circumstances came together and we were able to capitalise.
“Things can be up and down, we want to make more ups than downs. For the next races, we need to be realistic.”
Getting a deeper understanding
Vettel said that the F1 pecking order is now getting more established, and hoped that Shanghai would enforce Ferrari's standing close to Mercedes.
“We've had two races, and you need a couple to understand where you are," added Vettel. "We have a decent understanding of the car, and the target is to confirm the facts that we were close in Australia, in Sepang we were close enough to win – a great success.
"We want to make sure we establish ourselves as the team behind Mercedes, to stay ahead of Williams and Red Bull, and make sure that gap grows bigger, and then ensure the gap gets closer and closer with Mercedes."