Sebastian Vettel is optimistic Ferrari can afford to aim high heading into the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship as it looks to complete the 'difficult step' to challenge Mercedes more regularly.

Ferrari returned to winning ways in 2015 in the hands of new signing Sebastian Vettel, the Scuderia proving Mercedes' most frequent rival over the course of the year as the German notched up wins in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore.

However, with Mercedes still proving the dominant force as a whole, Ferrari comes into the 2016 season looking to evolve into a more convincing challenger for regular race wins and possibly the world title.

Speaking at the launch of the SF16-H, Vettel firmly believes Ferrari has the ability to take that 'difficult step' towards challenging for the title.

"The car is beautiful and I think it is very exciting times to really define my career. I can't wait to get out on the track and for now it is a beautiful car and should be a decent step up.

"Naturally our goals are growing," he said. We all want more and hopefully this car will help us achieve it. I think we had a fantastic year last year obviously in my first season with the team so naturally we all want more. Last year we finished second in the constructors' championship so there is only one more step but it is a difficult step to take but hopefully this car will help us achieve it."

Indeed, when considered in the context of a pre-season overhaul behind the scenes, Vettel says Ferrari exceeded expectations in 2015. With this in mind, he expects Ferrari to be better prepared for the challenges 2016.

"We have improved in many areas as a team. When I came more or less this time last year a lot of people were changing their positions and I think it was a difficult time to have some expectations but not I think we have had a much better winter to prepare and therefore I think we will be a strong team like last year but even stronger this year."

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