Sebastian Vettel is in optimistic mood heading into the Austrian GP weekend, although the Ferrari star concedes that he’ll only get a shot at victory if Mercedes under performs in some way.
“I think ideally we always try to fight for the win,” he said on Thursday. “I know that we have a strong package this year, a strong car, so if everything goes normal then we should be a little bit further up again, especially on Saturday this weekend.
“But we also have to be realistic [in] challenging the Mercedes. We know that first of all we need to have a flawless weekend, a perfect weekend and maybe hoping for them to have a little bit of a struggle. But in normal circumstances it is quite difficult to beat them as they are still the favourites going in, and there is still quite a big gap.”
Meanwhile Vettel conceded that he enjoyed his charge through the field in Canada.
“For sure it was more entertaining than the races before. It’s normal when you come from the back. Obviously first of all you go through cars that are slower than you. In general, obviously it was busier and at the end once I had my position I think I could extract a little bit more the pace of the car.
“But overall it was quite exciting and it was a good recovery, valuable points. We avoided all the risk in the opening lap which is always a bit messy if you are in the back of the field, but fortunately it all worked out and as I said we could get good points.”
Regarding prospects for the rest of the year he added: “First of all I think you have to see that it is natural that from track to track it might vary a bit but I think we’ve already done an incredible job. If you look at winter testing and where we are now, I think we consider ourselves to be quite a bit closer. Yeah, obviously it’s not that easy to make the gap smaller and smaller because Mercedes is a strong team, and obviously they are improving as well.
“They introduced a new spec of engine in Canada so they’re also making progress but our target for sure, is to make bigger progress to finally close the gap, so for sure, we are hoping that in the second part of the season, we are starting to get closer – closer than we are now.”