Sebastian Vettel feels Scuderia Ferrari are not far away from finding the kind of pace they need this weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, despite finishing sixth and fourth fastest in Friday’s two practice sessions.
The German was 0.862 seconds off the pace in the morning session in China, but reduced the gap to pacesetter Lewis Hamilton to just 0.108 seconds in the faster afternoon session, with Vettel happy that progress was made in between the two sessions.
Vettel, who has taken both of the race wins this season in Australia and Bahrain, hopes for further progress on Saturday as he aims to take pole position for a second consecutive weekend, having done so last weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.
“I think at this track it is very important to find the right feeling with the car and its set-up,” said Vettel. “The track is long and the tyres struggle here. But, overall, I think we are quite close.
“However, the car is not yet where I want it to be. So, we are still looking at how we can improve. I think the SF71H has the pace, but you need to make sure it works.
“Today it’s been a mixed day and I think in the afternoon it was a bit better and I was a little bit happier. Hopefully tomorrow I’m going to be very happy!”