Sebastian Vettel says this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix will provide a good indication of where Ferrari is compared to Mercedes.

Vettel heads to Barcelona only fifth in the F1 2016 Drivers' Championship, losing further ground last time out in Sochi, when he was taken out at the start by Daniil Kvyat, the Russian now demoted by Red Bull to Toro Rosso.

"Barcelona is a very good indication of where you are with the car," Vettel confirmed to Ferrari's official website. "We do a lot of testing there in the pre-season and we know the track inside-out.

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"It usually gives you a good reference where you stand and therefore it is incredibly important to get all the details right because you know that track so well, you know every corner inside-out as a driver and also as a team. It is very important to get everything together to be able to perform to a high level."

Vettel also adds that a good result will require careful tyre management in Sunday's grand prix.

"This circuit is particularly demanding on the tyre front," he continued. "In general Barcelona is quite stressful on tyres and therefore strategy is very important because the tyres don't usually last so long.

"You have a lot of corners, high-speed corners, low-speed corners, quick changes of direction, slow speed chicanes, a lot of traction required from the car and from the tyres. It is a big stress and therefore very important to look after tyres."