Sebastian Vettel has played down Ferrari's role in its tendency to post more encouraging results during Friday practice than it can carry through to qualifying and race, saying Mercedes is sandbagging initially.

Following the Austrian Grand Prix, during which Vettel was quickest in free practice only to fall comfortably short of his Mercedes rivals on Saturday and Sunday, Maurizio Arrivabene called on Ferrari to start producing more realistic runs on Friday to prevent 'fake' results.

However, though Vettel says Ferrari will likely change tact for the British Grand Prix, he says much of the deficit can also be explained by Mercedes' ability to 'turn up' its engines when it matters, as evidenced by Williams' usual improvement in day-to-day pace.

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"On Friday, I can assure you we will not be running low fuel on the long runs, I think we will see the pace being quite different.

"I think in general, we know for Friday to Saturday, Mercedes is able to turn their engines up. If you look at Williams on Friday versus Sunday, it is a massive step.

"I think that was one of the lessons learned, obviously not long ago they changed their engines, so it was probably one of those differences compared to previous races that they can get 'more greedy' on Sunday, which obviously makes it difficult to beat them in the race."

Having missed out on a podium in Austria after a problem with the wheelnut during a pit-stop, Vettel says a new system has been introduced for use this weekend.

"On the wheelnuts we had an issue, I know we have something here to try so we should avoid any problems in the future, but we will wait and see. The guys are doing lots of pit-stop practice to see whether it works, but hopefully we won't have any more trouble because it cost me the podium in Austria."