Sebastian Vettel says he is resigned to the fact that Mercedes was always likely to come out strong on the first day of action for the Italian Grand Prix, but is not ruling out a turnaround at Monza.
As he has proven for much of the 2015 season, Vettel was the closest competition for the all-dominant Mercedes' of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in both FP1 and FP2 – despite a low speed spin at Rettifilo – but would still be eight tenths adrift.
Despite the power of the tifosi
cheering him along, Vettel says he expected Mercedes to be typically quick straight away, but says previous events have shown other surprises can still happen.
“It's obviously difficult to say what people are doing on Friday but they are very strong. They do look very, very quick. No surprise I would say and if they're not in front tomorrow then that would be a surprise. But we like surprises, so we'll do our utmost to turn things around.”
Reflecting on his first laps as a Ferrari driver at Monza, Vettel says it was a nice experience after many years with the rival Red Bull team, but is hoping to have more to impress the crowds on Saturday.
“It's only Friday so it was good to see and good to feel. Nevertheless, we were quite busy working with the car and we have to improve for tomorrow as there is some stuff we can do better; but we had a solid day.”