Sebastian Vettel has claimed that Mercedes are currently four tenths quicker that Ferrari in the lead up to this weekend’s Bahrain GP. Vettel beat rival Lewis Hamilton at the Australian GP a fortnight ago, giving Ferrari an early lead in the 2018 Champions. Despite his positive start however, Vettel appears keen to point out the pace supremacy that Mercedes hold over the Scuderia.
Speaking at a recent press-conference in Bahrain, Vettel explained: “If you look at the pace in testing and the first race, then clearly Mercedes is fastest,”
“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.”
Vettel recently confessed that he lacked confidence in Ferrari’s new SF71H model, after he was out-qualified by teammate Kimi Raikkonen in Australia. The German has since admitted that the car is a definite improvement on last year’s model.
“I think this year we have a better car but we need to get it to work,” Vettel said.
“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.
“We have enough clever people to know we are not quick enough yet. 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.”
The Ferrari man’s modesty did little to convince last year’s F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who suggested that there had been very little difference between the two cars at last months GP.
“The cars are a lot closer than people seem to think. If you look at last year, from the first race to the second race everyone was a lot closer. The Ferrari always goes well here and we didn’t win the race last year. It will be close between us all.”