Sebastian Vettel has given Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team some food for thought as he topped the leaderboard in Free Practice 2 with an advantage of half a second point only a few hours after team-mate Kimi Raikkonen posted the quickest time in FP1.
Scuderia Ferrari managed to clinch first and second in the second session whilst the Mercedes pair struggled to stay in touch.
But despite their impressive performance, Vettel believes there is still more that can be done.
“I think we improved so I can be reasonably happy but not entirely,” he said. “We had a tough start this morning and it took a while to increase speed.
“I am sure we can still do more.”
Vettel considered confidence to be an important factor for success in Sochi, and he must be able to take some comfort from their apparent upper-hand.
He also has a novel idea for the FIA in order to make things easier. If that doesn’t work, perhaps a Sat Nav might be incorporated into the 2018 regulations.
“I think this is a circuit where you need to feel confident,” he continued. “There’s a lot of corners that look all the same on paper, they feel similar in the car, but then it’s quite tricky to get everything right.
“I wish they planted more trees next to the track so that you could have more references! But it’s tricky and that’s why you need to get into the rhythm.”
Despite their apparent struggles, Vettel still sees Mercedes as a threat. In fact he considers the track to be more suited to the Silver Arrows. This won’t stop him fighting for pole, and we are yet to see how the third practice pans out.
“I struggled a bit in the morning but I think we understood what we need,” he added. “We always fight for the pole position, that’s for sure, but on paper this track looks like a Mercedes one.
“They didn’t show everything today and didn’t get their lap together. So we’ll see.”