Sebastian Vettel still believes Mercedes holds the advantage over Ferrari despite the Scuderia finishing the second Canadian Grand Prix practice holding the top-two positions.
Mercedes was nearly a second clear of the rest in the opening session, but a crash for Lewis Hamilton meant only Valtteri Bottas set representative times in FP2. Ferrari took full advantage, with Charles Leclerc ending up fastest ahead of Vettel, but the German said later he doesn’t think that reflects the true pecking order in Montreal.
“[My reaction is] a bit mixed,” Vettel said. “It’s been an interesting session. Obviously quite slippery and quite dirty to start with, but I think the track will improve the whole weekend, so the key will be to go with the track. We will see. Not a great day in terms of tires because they didn’t last very long but we will see what we can do tomorrow.
“We’ll see what happens in qualifying and the strategy that everybody picks for the race. The very soft compound tires didn’t last very long.
“Overall I think it was not so bad, but we certainly need to improve if we want to put the car in a good position for Sunday’s race.”
Asked why Ferrari needs to improve so much having topped the times in FP2, Vettel replied: “Because we’re not the fastest.
“I know that in terms of results, if you look at the one-lap performance, it looks maybe like that today, this afternoon. But I think there’s still quite a reasonable gap to Mercedes, that’s why.”
Vettel says Ferrari’s weakness remains its performance in the corners, with the team enjoying strong straight line speed.
“Obviously today was not the most transparent session with other people running into problems. Also, the car feels not yet the way I want it. We have some … I wouldn’t say tricks up our sleeve, but some stuff we want to try and get a read on, and then we’ll see.”