Sebastian Vettel has downplayed the importance of the updates that Formula 1 teams will run at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, believing the development battle between Mercedes and Ferrari will rage on through the season.

As the first grand prix of the season in western Europe, the race in Barcelona heralds the arrival of a number of important updates for all teams.

Vettel currently leads the drivers' championship for Ferrari, but has been embroiled in a close battle with Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas throughout this season.

The gap between the two teams has been so close that it has been suggested the respective updates the teams bring to the Spanish Grand Prix will reset the title fight, but Vettel does not see it that way.

"Not sure that I would agree," Vettel said. "It is a race we get a lot of new toys, but then there's a lot of other races where we get a lot of new toys. We're quite spoiled kids! We get toys more or less every race.

"I think nowadays you have team bringing bits, sometimes more, sometimes less, nearly every race. Historically this has been the big one because it's just closer to the base of the teams.

"But the last couple of years, even though I don't know the race was thousands of kilometres away, you still had big boxes arriving last minute to push you in the right direction. So I don't know what other people are bringing, looking forward to it.

"I know what we are bringing. That should give us a bit of an improvement. Then we go from there."

Vettel said that Ferrari is focused on making as big a step as possible at each race, but stressed the importance of playing the long game throughout the season when it comes to updating the SF70H car.

"If we look at the first four races it has been really close," Vettel said. "So I don't think there was much between us for all of those four races despite bringing different bits and pieces. Maybe it's the same here, I don't know, we'll see.

"There's talk that Red Bull has a different approach, a different car. It's a long year. It was expected that you will have to bring a lot of parts and the development rate would be huge. We are focused on that and try to do our best."

 

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