Sebastian Vettel doesn’t believe Red Bull is out of reach for Ferrari despite its rival’s strong start to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
Daniel Ricciardo led a Red Bull one-two in each of Thursday’s free practice sessions, prompting the Australian to say his team had intended to target domination of the rest of the event. Vettel was third quickest but over half a second off Ricciardo’s pace in FP2, a pronounced margin given the short nature of the lap in Monaco.
Despite that gap, when asked if he’s fairly confident for the rest of the weekend, Vettel replied: “I should be.
“Always on Friday Red Bull looked a bit stronger, so let’s see if it’s the usual tomorrow. I think it will be very close. I don’t have a favorite yet.
“I think we’ve had some Fridays where they were quick so I think for us we need to look at ourselves which is what we do and try to do our homework. I was pretty comfortable in the car, it was sliding too much, but as long as you know where it’s going to end up, and how it’s going to slide, then I think it’s fine. Now we need to get on top of the sliding and reduce it and I think we will pick up some pace, then we should be in a good position.”
Ferrari has come under scrutiny for the way it has run its ERS system in recent races, with the FIA requesting the team install some hardware in Monaco that would ensure it is not able to exceed energy deployment limits. But Vettel says it has not been an area of concern internally.
“Obviously we heard about it but I think that it’s normal that every now and then you have something popping up, and then there’s rumors. This time for us probably, as I understand, and in four weeks time it’ll be probably someone else.
“It’s the FIA’s job to look after everyone and I think we trust them as much as the other teams trust them to do their job. That’s it for us, it’s really straightforward. I think it’s more outside the team, the talk and anything to discuss.”