Sebastian Vettel is playing down suggestions Ferrari can mount a sustained challenge for the 2015 Formula 1 World Championship title as the season resumes three weeks after his surprise Hungarian Grand Prix win.
The German took an unexpected second victory of the season at the Hungaroring ahead of the summer break, in turn taking a chunk out of the advantage held by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the head of the standings and raising the prospect of a potential run at the title.
For Vettel, however, the gap of 42 points to Hamilton and 21 to Rosberg is still substantial and though he was delighted to get back on top of the podium again, he says it is more testament to Ferrari capitalising on a troubled race day for Mercedes than it was because of a sudden upturn in pace.
“Mathematically. I don't think it takes a genius to look at how many points there is to score and to see how many points we are behind,” he said. “It is still possible but for sure we also know, being realistic, it will be bloody difficult given the gap that is still there.
“For sure if we have the opportunity to turns thing around, like we did in Hungary, then we have to go for it. If we have the opportunity and we don't use it then it is really down to us, and our mistakes, but if you look at the races so far, there were two opportunities that we used which is really good.
“Other than that, we did the best trying to be right behind but for sure the advantage with Mercedes is still there, it doesn't just disappear.”
Looking ahead to the Belgian Grand Prix at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps – which doubles up as his 150th F1 start and the 900th for Ferrari -, Vettel lauds the circuit as 'one of the best in the world'
“It's one of best tracks in the world, simple as that. It's been on the calendar for a long time and I think the pleasure of driving it, is unique around this place. You have a lot of fast corners and medium speed corners that go up and down, so it's the place when you really feel the car, really feel alive basically.
“Winning here does feel special because every driver loves this track and if you're the one that comes out on top on Sunday, it's a really good