Sebastian Vettel is confident Ferrari has nothing to fear from the remaining circuits this season despite winning just one of the past five races.
Ferrari has shown a much more consistently competitive car than in recent years, with Vettel winning on five occasions and also picking up five pole positions. Although it appeared to have the edge over Mercedes at a number of recent venues and was confident heading to Singapore, Ferrari’s only victory since Silverstone came at Spa-Francorchamps, with Lewis Hamilton winning four of the past five to open up a 40-point advantage in the drivers’ championship.
“There is still a long way to go and a lot of points to score,” Vettel said. “I never believed that we had the fastest car by a big margin, as people said. I know that we have a very good car.
“I think we started the season well and then we were about half a second behind in qualifying and it was crucial to get back, which we managed to — and then we had a bit of a rough time. Overall I think the speed is there but it’s a match in qualifying as much as in the race.
“If anything, I think we were a little bit slower (in Singapore), which we need to have a look and understand — but also it’s difficult to draw the conclusion because my race was very different. I was on the oldest tires and probably on the tire that was not supposed to last that long. You would probably like to go out and do the same stint on the same tires, just to be able to compare, but that’s not the race that we had.
“Russia has been getting better the last years for us, so it should suit our car as well. I don’t think we have any tracks to fear that are coming. Our car is working pretty much everywhere and that’s a strength of our car, so no need to be afraid of what’s coming.”
Central to its poor result in Singapore was Ferrari’s failure to get a car on the front row, and Kimi Raikkonen warns that is a scenario the team needs to try and avoid in Russia this weekend.
“Russia could be OK,” Raikkonen said. “Between the three teams (Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull) it’s always going to be close and whoever gets the best start is usually in the best spot. In Russia is not usually easy to overtake, either, so it’s important to be in the front.”