Although he took the first win of the season at Australia, Sebastian Vettel still believes Mercedes has a faster car than the Italian squad.
Vettel came second in the qualifying race, but thanks to a virtual safety car deployment, he managed to outmanoeuvre his British rival and gains a few precious seconds worth of lead in the race. Ferrari’s cars have been a bit behind the German car throughout the last race weekend in single lap performance as well as in the race pace.
“I think we have enough clever people to know that we’re not quick enough yet,” Vettel said.
“There’s a lot of analysis after every running that we do and people looking into all sorts of stuff to try and get more performance out of us, out of the team, out of the car — and it’s a no-brainer that we’re not quick enough yet and Mercedes is quicker.
“But we go racing. It’s not that we live in simulation land and rely solely on numbers. We go racing as you saw a couple of weeks ago in Australia as you saw many times over the past years. And that’s I think the excitement of what we do, that you never really know what happens even if you have a guess.”
During the qualifying, the gap with Mercedes was a little wider and is believed to be 0.3s or 0.4s per lap according to the four-time world champion.
“I think in qualifying, the gap then looked a bit bigger than it probably should have been. If you look at the session again, then it’s pretty clear Q2 in particular, Mercedes and Lewis didn’t get the lap together, then in Q3, he did. I think Max [Verstappen] had a small mistake in Q3, I had a small mistake. We should have been a bit closer. I think that [0.3s-0.4s] is the gap we saw in qualy and then the race, so both.”