Vettel: ‘SF71-H a better car, but we need to make it work’
Sebastian Vettel believes his 2018 prancing horse is a better car than its predecessor, but still requires work for Ferrari to close the gap with Mercedes.
Despite his win in Formula 1’s curtain-raiser round in Australian, Vettel said his confidence level in his new mount wasn’t yet where it needed to be.
The German driver has no doubts however that he is driving a better and faster machine this season compared to last year’s SF70-H. But a quick step forward is required.
“I think this year we have a better car but we need to get it to work,” Vettel said in Bahrain.
“I’m confident the car has potential but we need to make progress and catch up quickly to be there fighting for wins, just as we did in many races last year.
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“We have enough clever people to know we are not quick enough yet,” he added.
“We are looking into all sorts of stuff to try and get more performance out of us, out of the team, out of the car so it is also a no-brainer that we know we are not quick enough yet and Mercedes at this stage are quicker.
“I think in general people are quite fired up. We obviously had a great year last year but we missed to win the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship so with this year’s contender we improved.
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“The car is better but we have to get it in the right window plus we need to catch up looking where others are.
“Overall we are aware but we are very motivated to turn the page and take that final step. It is the hardest step to take but we are very motivated to take it.”
Addressing Ferrari’s deficit to Mercedes in outright speed, Vettel evaluated the gap between the Italian outfit and the Silver Arrows squad.
“If you look at the pace in testing and the first race, then clearly Mercedes is fastest,” said Vettel.
“A three or four tenths gap – that’s also what we saw in the race. Lewis was controlling his pace at the beginning and then pushed when he had to. He had time in hand.
“That’s the fair answer.”
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