After reacting to Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne's comments that he expects the Italian manufacturer to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel says the aim is always to win but wants his team to be pragmatic in its approach.
Having returned to driving duties on day two of the Pirelli wet tyre test at Paul Ricard, Vettel is upbeat for the season ahead as he looks to break the dominance of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Vettel's arrival at Maranello in 2015 saw a resurgence from Ferrari, with the four-time F1 champion being the only non-Mercedes factory driver to notch up Grand Prix victories last year at Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore respectively.
Ferrari's chairman Marchionne feels his team needs to win the 2016 opener in Melbourne to give itself the best possible chance of beating the all-conquering Mercedes. Naturally, Vettel says he goes into every race aiming to win and it is a mentality shared with every member of the Italian manufacturer.
“We don't need Marchionne to tell us he wants us to win. It is natural that we all want to win,” Vettel said. “The team is quite big and there are a lot of people and if you ask them they will all say they want to win but we know it is very ambitious.
“We know that the gap was quite big last year and I think we did quite a good job over the season to come closer. This year we have some changes and testing will be crucial to start on the right foot.”
Discussing the significance of the Australian Grand Prix on the 2016 F1 world championship, Vettel wants Ferrari to maximise its potential and concentrate on both short and long term goals.
“Australia is one race out of 21 so if you win there that is great but if not you try to finish as close as possible to the top step to collect as many points as possible and after that it is a long year,” he said.