Sebastian Vettel will head into the Chinese Grand Prix on the back of two consecutive race victories at the start of the season, and he feels Scuderia Ferrari should have another strong performance this weekend.
The German has a seventeen-point advantage over defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton heading into the race at the Shanghai International Circuit, but despite being faced with very different conditions than in either of the first two rounds, he expects the SF71-H to be competitive, providing they find a well-balanced set-up early on.
“I think we should be alright here in China,” said Vettel, “even if it is difficult to know. So far there have been only two races and both were very good in terms of results, but they were quite different and here, the track is quite different too.
“Conditions are not the same as in Bahrain and Australia either. So, we’ll see how it goes, but I am quite confident. I believe that if we have the right balance, then we should be competitive, I just don’t know how much yet. However, we’ll try to win.
“After this race I think we’ll be able to tell a little bit more, but overall the car is in good shape and it is working, so I know we can be competitive.”
Vettel feels this weekend will be another that will require expert tyre management, but unlike in the heat of Bahrain, the colder conditions in China will require a different set of skills to be strong.
“This track is quite demanding for tyres, so in terms of strategy you try to make all of them work, to understand which one has the best chances,” said Vettel. “It will be an interesting challenge, so we’ll see.
“Temperatures are very important here too, because it is colder and it changes the balance of the car, and the limit of the tyres. But it is difficult to predict and we need to be patient.
“We always try to do our job well and even if the first two races were ok, they are behind us now. We keep learning and look ahead.”