Sebastian Vettel says the pressure on Ferrari this season is only “natural” given what it accomplished last year.
Ferrari bounced back in 2015, finishing second in the Constructors' Championship and taking three wins, and as a result Vettel thinks it is only normal to want to improve upon that.
However, with Ferrari president and newly appointed CEO Sergio Marchionne recently saying the team must 'close the gap at the speed of light' if it wants to take on the might of Mercedes after another disappointing race weekend in Russia, it is clear the pressure is on.
Indeed Marchionne's target is for the Maranello-team to take another title within a decade of its last success in 2007.
“I guess there's a natural sense of pressure, especially from myself,” remarked Vettel, who after being taken out by Daniil Kvyat in Sochi, now slips to fifth in the Drivers' Championship, 67 points adrift of leader Nico Rosberg. “I think there were races I was very happy and there were occasions where I know that I didn't do the best possible job, but that's how it is.
“I think the expectations from the outside aren't as high as they are from the inside. I think it's natural when you finish the championship as second constructor, you want to be the best team the year after. It would be unnatural to say “we want to do the same” or “we want to finish third”. That's completely natural, we didn't have the first few races we were looking for but I think we've shown we're in a better position than last year.
“We've said many times we're much happier with the car, it gives us more room to play, so I think we're on the right track and I'm not overly concerned. It's all about getting some things and putting some things in the right places. For sure we're pro-active [too], we're working very hard to make progress, so that we can create that success.”