12 March 2015
F1 Australian Grand Prix: Vettel confident Ferrari has ‘made a step’
Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari has improved enough to be in the hunt to pick up F1 wins should Mercedes stumble early in the 2015 campaign.
Sebastian Vettel stops short of claiming wins are likely for Ferrari this season, but points to his former team-mate's 2014 success as reason to be optimistic.
The new regime at Maranello has already targeted a couple of top step appearances as a mark of progress after a dire campaign last year, and Vettel agrees that, after winter testing, there are signs of encouragement from the SF-15T after both he and new partner Kimi Raikkonen took turns to top the testing times in Jerez and Barcelona.
“I think, generally, the atmosphere is very positive,” Vettel commented, “Obviously, there has been a lot of change over the winter, but people have been working very hard and I think we have definitely improved as a team. Now we'll see when we get the chance to put the car on the track, we can see where the others are, see what the others run, especially on Saturday. Finally, you know a little bit more. Winter always is a bit tricky to understand everything.
“Obviously, it depends on the form of the other teams as well, but I think we've made a step. We're yet to find out how big the step is and then it depends. I think we've seen, last year, that there's chances to win races – not just for Mercedes – so, if you put yourself in a very strong position, probably at the beginning of the season right behind, then, yeah, if something happens, you're there. I'm sure it's not what they want, but these things can happen to all of the drivers, all of the teams.”
Vettel has never made any secret of wanting to drive for Ferrari, despite his years of success with Red Bull, and, now that he's wearing the famous scarlet colours, his next aim is to restore the Prancing Horse to its former glory.
“I think there's a lot of history in the team and, for me, it's an honour to race for Ferrari,” the four-time world champion admitted, “I'm very happy at this stage and I can't wait to get in the car and finally start racing with the team but, equally, we know that we have to work hard because our ambition is very high and we want to make sure that Ferrari gets back to the top.”
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