Sebastian Vettel: “The balance is not there yet.”

Sebastian Vettel feels that they need to improve the balance - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel still feels there is more work to do overnight to challenge the dominant Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team after finishing third and fifth in the two free practice sessions in Japan on Friday.

“Overall I am not entirely happy with the balance of the car today, but I am sure this is something we can work on,” said Vettel.  “I didn’t try the Medium compound, we focused more on the Soft tyre in the morning, and on the very Hard tyre in the afternoon. We tried to do our homework, but the balance is not there yet.”

Vettel managed fifth in FP2 but was nine tenths behind Nico Rosberg, the German driver will look at the data overnight and hopefully they can find out the problems for a stronger FP3 and Qualifying performance.

“We will now need to look at the data and see where we are, also compared to the others. Ideally you would always love to have more grip around here, because it feels fantastic if you do, but I am sure we can tune the balance and distribute the grip a bit better, so that we will be in a better shape tomorrow.”

The Ferrari driver believes a podium is always possible at a circuit that he has won four times in past. Suzuka is always an unpredictable place with rain on the horizon which could play into the hands of Vettel.

“As for race expectations, a podium finish is always possible, there might even be rain at some point. It sure doesn’t help if you start further at the back (because of the grid penalty), but overtaking is possible, even if it is not so easy.”