Sebastian Vettel says he still doesn’t feel completely confident with his Ferrari Formula 1 car following Friday practice for the Chinese Grand Prix and hints key developments are “still stuck”.

The four-time F1 world champion has conceded he is struggled to find a certain and consistent feeling with the SF90 compared to his new teammate Charles Leclerc, which he put down to his spin battling against Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and has been eager to discover solutions.

Following an extensive test day in Bahrain after the race, where he tried Leclerc’s chassis as a direct comparison to his own car, Vettel says progress has been made but he remains short of feeling 100% with his 2019 F1 car.

“It’s another track and it’s normal that you constantly learn more about the feeling,” Vettel said. “The things we tried during the test we were able to do here in a certain way.

“Nevertheless, I feel that we can still improve. We're not at the end of the line yet.

“It is better but it's not 100% yet. If you feel that it’s still stuck here and there, you can't be completely satisfied. But it was okay. At least we know where it is still stuck. It remains to be seen whether we will find it.”



Vettel also says his own post-practice findings in Shanghai are dampened by not having a direct comparison to Leclerc as the 21-year-old missed out on his long run in FP2 with a cooling problem.

“Too bad Charles couldn't do the long run. That’s why we lack a bit of information. But we saw what the others did. I think we have a rough answer. There is still potential in the car, it’s up to us to unlock that.”

Assessing his chances of ending his win drought in China, which stretches back to last year’s Belgian Grand Prix, the German driver says Mercedes have met his expectations in terms of performance and believes Ferrari must unlock more pace from its package to beat its F1 world title rivals this weekend.

“I expected them to be very strong here so if we can be close to them then that’s a good sign,” he said. “Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

“I think we can improve the car, we should be faster in the corners and then that’s always a good thing. We can find some more time.”


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