25 September 2015
F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Vettel: Not a day for drawing conclusions
Inclement weather conditions at Suzuka meant that further comparisons between Ferrari and Mercedes would have to wait another day, according to Singapore GP winner Sebastian Vettel.
Sebastian Vettel has said that there is little to be learned about Ferrari's apparent step up in performance after two sessions spent combating the elements at Suzuka.
The four-time world champion, who cruised to victory in last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix as Ferrari introduced an updated V6 engine that appeared to be on a par with the pace-setting Mercedes unit, was fifth fastest after the afternoon's running, but insisted that the conditions – which veered from wet to damp and back again – meant that direct comparisons could not be drawn.
“Obviously, we tried to do some laps, but it was not so easy as there was quite a lot of water on the track,” Vettel noted, “And it's not so easy to compare to other people because the conditions were not so consistent. I think we were where we wanted to be in the beginning and, maybe at the end, we learned some things, so let's see how the weather is tomorrow. If it's dry tomorrow and Sunday, then [we learned] nothing because today was wet."
With both Mercedes drivers ahead of Vettel and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, and the pace being set by Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat, the usual order received a little shake-up, underlining Vettel's claim that it would be difficult to measure respective performance until the conditions settled down.
“Conditions change so quickly, with different tyres for everyone at different times, so it was not the best day if you want to draw conclusions, but looking at ourselves there are some lessons to learn,” the German explained, “It was a surprise to see Mercedes so far down [in Singapore] - this has been said often enough. If it keeps being a surprise, we don't mind, but we have to keep our feet on the ground. We know there is a lot for us to do – a lot of potential amongst ourselves - so we have to focus on us and then we'll see where the others are.”
Although several drivers opted to limit their running, or sit out altogether, Vettel insisted that there had still been good reason to keep venturing out.
“In these kind of conditions, it's up to the driver if he wants to continue or not, feeling the tyres, feeling the conditions,” he revealed, “Sometimes, with a lot of rain like we had at the end, I thought it might have been a bit too much, but it was getting better so I stayed out and we were able to get a read on the car, at least compared to ourselves.”
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