Ferrari need to beat Mercedes – Vettel

Valtteri Botttas

BBC coverage

How to follow:
Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Sebastian Vettel has stressed that his Ferrari team need to start beating Mercedes after the world champions’ dominant start to the season.

Mercedes have taken one-twos in all four races and Vettel is 35 points off championship leader Valtteri Bottas, who is one ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel said: “We need to start scoring points, the sooner the better. The longer it goes on, the worse it looks.”

But he said his chances of the drivers’ title were “as good as anybody else’s”.

The German is in agreement with Bottas that Mercedes’ results have made them look more superior than they actually are, in terms of the competitive standing between the two cars.

Vettel said: “[Overall], we are slightly behind but we know it is not a long way and things could go our way. Everyone is fired up and willing to fight.”

Finland’s Bottas added: “If you look at the results, it looks like we had been dominating as a team but by pace there is not that much difference between us and Ferrari. It is depending on the weekend.

“Melbourne we were better, Bahrain they were, after that it has been pretty close and down to fine details.”

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Both teams have performance upgrades for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari have introduced a more powerful engine, including a new fuel, as well as aerodynamic improvements, while Mercedes have their own aerodynamic upgrades.

Bottas said: “This weekend with the upgrades Ferrari is bringing, they have a new power unit, we see how it works. We have some upgrades, [you] can’t rule out Red Bull at this kind of track, same as Monaco, but it is going to be a lot about development and how we can improve through the year.”

Vettel has admitted that Ferrari have been struggling to get their car back into the sweet-spot of handling balance that they achieved at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in testing in February and March.

The four-time world champion said it would be “interesting” now they were returning to the track for a race whether they could find it again.

“The car was really good in testing,” Vettel said. “But we arrived in Australia and struggled to feel the same.

“The last four races have been up and down, there have been times when it felt good and times when it did not.

“Deep down, we know the car is strong but we haven’t found the silver bullet. There never is one. It is getting into the details and trying to understand more and more and trying to improve and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“This weekend will be interesting for us because we had such a good feeling and it was not so long ago. I remember how the car felt. if we can get back to that feeling I am confident we can be very competitive.”

Spanish Grand Prix coverage details
Date Session Time Radio coverage Online text commentary
Chequered Flag podcast: Spanish Grand Prix review – download here once the race has finished
Friday, 10 May First practice 09:55-11:35 BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra From 09:30
Second practice 13:55-15:35 BBC Sport online From 13:30
Preview 21:30-22:00 – Listen here BBC Radio 5 Live
Saturday, 11 May Third practice 10:55-12:05 BBC Sport online From 10:30
Qualifying 14:00-15:05 BBC Radio 5 Live From 13:00
Sunday, 12 May Race 14:00-16:30 BBC Sport online From 12:30
Monday, 13 May Review 04:30-05:00 BBC Radio 5 Live

This content was provided by the BBC

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