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F1 Malaysian GP: Vettel rules out ‘realistic’ Ferrari victory bid

Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari is 'right to dream' about the possibility of a win in the Malaysian Grand Prix... but he doesn't expect it
RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Free Practice Results (2)

Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari is 'right to dream' about repeating its Malaysian Grand Prix victory from last season even if he concedes it will be hard to beat Mercedes in reality.

Vettel claimed the first of three wins as a Ferrari driver at last year's Sepang race – then the second round of the 2015 F1 season – but is yet to step atop the podium in 2016.

Though Ferrari had hoped to take the fight to Mercedes in this year's race, which has been moved to Autumn and features a new surface, Vettel has played down the likelihood of it happening after ending free practice half a second behind pace setter Lewis Hamilton.

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Even so, while Vettel says he is remaining 'realistic' about his chances this weekend, he says it is still good for Ferrari to aim for the top regardless.

“I think it's right to dream,” he said. “I think if the chance is there we have to go for it, but we are realistic and we have seen Mercedes very strong today on both short and long runs. We are pretty happy with our short run, the long run, I haven't seen much of what the other people did, but I think we can improve, especially getting the car more together. But I'm confident that we will find a little bit here and there.

Reflecting on the challenge from Red Bull – currently ahead of Ferrari in the fight for second in the constructors' standings -, Vettel was surprised to see it behind on single laps.

“Red Bulll look very strong on the medium but I don't know what happened to them on the softs. I think we have seen the last couple of races it is pretty close between us and Red Bull and Mercedes seems to have a bit of an edge.”

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