Catching Mercedes will take ‘a while’ – Vettel

May 4 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has admitted that Ferrari continues to trail F1 pacesetter Mercedes.

At the wheel of his resurgent red car, the German won the Malaysian grand prix while Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen came close to challenging for victory two weeks ago in Bahrain.

“We are trying to bother Mercedes,” Vettel told Welt am Sonntag newspaper, “and we must be right behind them and pounce if something goes wrong with them. But it is also important that we are not passed by other teams.

“Mercedes still have the strongest package,” he acknowledged. “You don’t make up such a deficit quickly.

“Ferrari have taken a step forward in the winter but it will take a while to be on the same level as Mercedes,” said Vettel.

However, Finland’s MTV3 reports that Raikkonen may benefit from a Ferrari engine upgrade this weekend in Barcelona.

And the Maranello team will also reportedly race a raft of aerodynamic upgrades at the Spanish grand prix.

“Yes, I expect that Ferrari will be even closer to Mercedes” there, said MTV’s F1 expert Ossi Oikarinen.

But F1 legend Gerhard Berger said he is not sure Vettel is now close to being able to mount a serious challenge for the 2015 title.

“Ferrari did a giant step over the winter,” he told Auto Bild. “Whether it is enough for the title, I doubt it. For me, Mercedes’ lead still seems too big.”

Vettel’s former boss and mentor at Red Bull, however, Austrian Dr Helmut Marko, is more confident.

“Sebastian is already going for this year’s world title,” he said, referring to the fact that Vettel is just a point behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, after four races.

“Vettel has shown all his critics who told him he had forgotten how to drive a car last season,” Marko added.

Related News

  • 25/05/2015 Boss Arrivabene gives Raikkonen ‘homework’ May 25 (GMM) Maurizio Arrivabene sent Kimi Raikkonen away from the Monaco grand prix with some "homework". Finn Raikkonen is already on notice to keep up his rate of improvement in 2015 […]
  • 29/05/2017 Raikkonen now Ferrari ‘number 2’ – Hamilton May 29 (GMM) Despite making the podium, Kimi Raikkonen was far from happy after Sunday's Monaco GP. The pole sitter was leading the prestigious race until the round of pitstops, when his […]
  • 19/06/2016 Marchionne warns 2016 title slipping away Jun.19 (GMM) Sergio Marchionne has warned that time is running out for Ferrari to win the 2016 world championship. Despite urging for early wins this year as well as the title, Ferrari's […]
  • 01/04/2015 Ferrari not missing Alonso – Trulli Apr.1 (GMM) Ferrari will not be missing its departed number 1 driver Fernando Alonso. That is the view of the Spaniard's former Renault teammate Jarno Trulli, who today can be found […]
  • 24/07/2017 Ferrari could keep Raikkonen – Schumacher Jul.24 (GMM) Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher can imagine Ferrari deciding to keep Kimi Raikkonen on board next year. While the Italian team is not ready to commit to the Finn for 2018, […]
  • 17/04/2016 Kvyat bites back at furious Vettel Apr.17 (GMM) Daniil Kvyat held his own wheel-to-wheel and then later in a face-to-face argument with Sebastian Vettel at the Chinese grand prix on Sunday. As Kvyat brushed off a […]
  • 21/05/2015 Ferrari to try again with Barcelona upgrade May 21 (GMM) Ferrari is persevering with a major car upgrade that did not work last time out in Barcelona. The Maranello team's 2015 resurgence came to a halt at the Spanish grand prix, […]
  • 04/10/2017 Mercedes used Bottas as ‘road block’ – Vettel Oct.4 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel has accused Valtteri Bottas of deliberately holding him up during last weekend's Malaysian grand prix. Bottas and Mercedes have each denied that the Finnish […]
  • 30/08/2018 Raikkonen announcement still unclear Aug.30 (GMM) It is still not clear if Ferrari is planning a driver announcement for Monza. While some expect the Italian team to confirm Kimi Raikkonen for 2019, Finland's Turun Sanomat […]
  • 10/07/2017 Raikkonen must increase commitment – Marchionne Jul.10 (GMM) Sergio Marchionne has issued a wake-up call to Kimi Raikkonen, whilst rejecting rumours Max Verstappen or Fernando Alonso are in the running to replace him. "We have not […]