Sebastian Vettel believes Red Bull is likely to need the winter break to make any significant inroads in to Mercedes' current advantage.
While Red Bull endured a tough pre-season, the team ran competitively in Australia and has so far scored four podiums as well as one victory courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo in Canada. However, with Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko saying the team would be able to be on the same level as Mercedes next season, Vettel doubts such a big step can be made because of a lack of relative progress so far this year.
“It's difficult to say,” Vettel said when asked if 2015 was a realistic timeframe to catch Mercedes. “Obviously right now the gap is very big and we didn't really close the gap since race one. Obviously we tried lots of stuff and improved but probably they did the same thing.
“So we are waiting for bigger steps to happen to close the gap even more. I think at the end of the season we can judge a lot better and then we know what we can do during the winter.”
With Vettel only having one podium to his name so far this season, team-mate Ricciardo expects to see the reigning world champion back to his best in Germany.
“For sure his form his going to come or it has come,” Ricciardo said. “So in Germany I'm sure he's going to be really hungry to show his home fans that he's ready to take it on. For me it's just to keep trying to improve, keep doing what I'm doing and obviously I'm excited if there is a bit more in him because I think that will bring out a bit more in both of us. Let's see, I know Germany he'll be hungrier than ever so it should be a good battle on our hands.”