Sebastian Vettel says recent performance tests have provided Ferrari with “some clarity” over the weaknesses with its 2019 Formula 1 car.

Ferrari has led the way in terms of straight-line speed throughout the opening nine rounds of the campaign, but it has suffered inconsistent performance trends at some circuits due to its 2019 challenger having less downforce and drag compared to Mercedes, with the German manufacturer winning eight races so far.

The Scuderia trailed a number of aerodynamic updates during recent races in France and Austria with varying levels of success, but Vettel insists the team now has a “clear picture” of what went wrong.

“I think we learned a lot after confusion or some bits that didn’t turn out to work exactly like we wanted to,” Vettel said.

“During the French Grand Prix and Austrian Grand Prix it brought some clarity and I think we have a clear picture of what was wrong in terms of tuning and what needs to be changed.

“Obviously over the next couple of weeks we can tell of where we can go but I think it is pretty normal that unfortunately not all the bits you bring, bring you the step that you want or expect.

“Sometimes parts overdeliver which is great and sometimes they underdeliver. I think overall we need to make sure the direction we need to go to and we will keep going that way.”

Vettel hopes a greater understanding of its issues will enable Ferrari to start clawing back some of the deficit to Mercedes.

“I think that is clear but the fact why at some tracks some corners feel better than at other tracks which have a similar type of profile and character which don’t feel as good,” he explained.

“I think that is where some of the inconsistencies comes from. I think it is clear on paper that we are missing a bit of downforce compared to Mercedes in particular, hence the difference down the straight.

“So, if you take a simple reference like Monaco where we were faster on the straights by quite a big chunk and Monaco is the place where you put all the downforce on the car that you have.

“I believe that we have quite an efficient car as well which means that it is not so draggy but overall we are missing a bit of grip which speaks for the deficit we have in certain corner types. That is what we are working on.”

Vettel ended Hamilton’s run of successive victories at Silverstone last year in what was an impressive performance from Ferrari.

Asked if he feels a repeat win is possible, Vettel replied: “I don’t know, like I said before I think so far this year it’s been quite up and down for us, so let’s see where we are tomorrow and how the car feels, but I’m quite optimistic.

“I think the last couple of weeks have been better for us and hopefully we can continue that trend.”