8 May 2015
F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Gap to Mercedes still there - Vettel
Ferrari pilot Sebastian Vettel says the “bad news for us” is that the gap to Mercedes remains
Sebastian Vettel says the gap to Mercedes remains, that's his verdict following Friday practice for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix
Vettel trailed both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in FP1 this morning, almost a second adrift, and while he got closer in the afternoon, and split them to wind up second, he was still 0.408s off the pace.
So is there more to come from the Scuderia? “I think we can improve the car, yes,” Vettel replied. “I think the gap was about four tenths but a bit more if you look at the whole day.
“I haven't looked at the long runs but the gap is still there – that's the bad news for us.”
Vettel also noted that while he had a slide on his best lap in FP2, he didn't know if Hamilton's lap was perfect either – it wasn't, with the Briton locking up in Turn 10.
“Yeah, I did, but everyone had a bit of a slide. It was not the perfect lap but hopefully I'm saving that [the perfect lap] for tomorrow,” Vettel joked.
“Maybe we could have got a bit closer, I don't know if Lewis' lap was perfect. With everyone sliding so much it's quite normal.”
Meanwhile, Vettel added that it is clear the medium is the quicker tyre, although the difference isn't so great over a longer stint.
“On one lap for us it [the difference] is quite big. On the long run I think it was quite a lot smaller. I think when everyone is sliding so much you can't extract the performance out of the tyres, both hard and medium, that's more so for a long run rather than one lap,” he explained.
“Overall though it is fairly straightforward, the medium is the faster tyre. But [it was] pretty slippery today for all the cars, you saw that everyone was a little bit all over the place. Grip seems to be very low, but nothing abnormal.
“We have seen that across many years now – when we come from the winter, usually the track in the summer is a bit slow.
“It always helps, however, when cars go round. I think everyone completed a lot of laps today so it will improve. They are saying it is [going to be] a bit cooler on Sunday [too] so maybe that helps everyone,” concluded the four-time F1 world champion.
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