Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari requires a “significant step” to be able to challenge Formula 1 rivals Mercedes at the British Grand Prix.

Ferrari trailed Mercedes throughout Friday’s running and was unable to match the pace of its chief rival, though Charles Leclerc managed to get within 0.148s of FP2 pacesetter Valtteri Bottas’ time, while Vettel finished half a second down.

Both drivers tested a number of parts as Ferrari continues to better understand its 2019 challenger, though Vettel admits it did not get all the answers it hoped for and may revert on some following a frustrating day.

“I’m not entirely happy,” Vettel said. “I think it was a tricky afternoon, we tried a couple of things, maybe some of them we will go back - now we have a bit of time to think about it.

“It was a bit up and down this afternoon, for many reasons. We tried some things. So, not so bothered with one or two particular laptimes.

I think bigger picture today it was okay, too many jumps for us up and down, still Mercedes looked very, very fast and the ones to beat so we'll see where we'll be tomorrow.

“We tried some stuff with the car and set-up, and the car was quite nervous, on top of that it was a bit windier. Now we need to see what of the stuff that we tried we keep, and what we dismiss. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll do a significant step.”

Leclerc, who outpaced Vettel in both sessions, concedes Mercedes are the clear favourites.

“I feel we have been struggling quite a lot on the race pace,” Leclerc explained.

“I think Mercedes have probably quite a bit more to come. We’ll see tomorrow. Quite a lot of work to do.

“To be honest on my side I expected Mercedes to be the team to beat this weekend and they confirmed that today that they are the team to beat this weekend, very very quick during race pace.

“We need to work, we struggled a lot on race runs, a bit less in qualifying runs, but still pace to find from our side.

“I’m pretty sure they have a lot more to come, struggling a lot today, maybe they have been too, but doesn’t seem like they’re struggling on race runs.”

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