Sebastian Vettel says there is "still quite a big gap" between Ferrari and Mercedes coming into this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix.

Vettel managed to comeback from starting a lowly 19th in Canada last time out to finish fifth, just 4 seconds behind team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, and when quizzed on the prospects of the Scuderia winning this Sunday, the German conceded they will need to be "flawless" to stand any chance. He did, however, add that he expects Ferrari to go better in qualifying.

"I think ideally we always try to fight for the win. I know that we have a strong package this year, a strong car and if everything goes normal, we should be a little bit further up again, especially on Saturday this weekend," he said on Thursday ahead of the eighth round in the 2015 F1 World Championship.

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"In general, I am looking forward to the weekend - it is a great place and a great venue. I think all of us really enjoy coming here, but we also have to be realistic. Challenging Mercedes, we know first of all we need to have a flawless weekend, a perfect weekend [to do that] and maybe hope for them to have a little bit of a struggle. Under normal circumstances it is quite difficult to beat them, as they are still the favourites coming in and there is still quite a big gap."

Despite that though, Vettel is confident that Ferrari can continue to close on Mercedes as the season progresses.

"First of all you have to say that it is natural that from track to track it might vary a bit, but I think already we have done an incredible job," he continued. "If you look at winter testing and where we are now, I think we consider ourselves quite a bit closer.

"Obviously it is not easy to make the gap smaller and smaller because Mercedes is a strong team and obviously they are improving as well. They introduced the new spec engine in Canada, so they are also making progress. But our target is to make bigger progress to finally close the gap.

"So for sure we are hoping, in the second part of the season, [that] we are starting to get closer than we are now," he concluded.