Vettel: Gap has widened between Ferrari and Mercedes

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MONTMELO – Sebastian Vettel believes that the gap between Ferrari and Mercedes at the front of the field in Formula 1 has widened since the last race in Bahrain.

Heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, most of the teams have brought some updates to their cars in a bid to improve their pace and cut the gap to the front of the field.

Ferrari has been Mercedes’ closest challenger in 2015, allowing Vettel to win the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in what was considered to be a shock result.

Despite qualifying third in Bahrain, Vettel believes that the gap to Mercedes has grown since the last race in Bahrain three weeks ago, but he hopes that the difference will be less concerning in the race on Sunday.

“I hope it’s going to be better in the race,” Vettel said. “I think we expected them to be very, very strong here because in winter testing they were very strong and I’m sure they have improved their car since then.

“Obviously it’s true that the gap is there, the gap is probably a little bit bigger than it was the last couple of races.

“I don’t think that’s down to one thing only, I think there’s always a lot of things you throw in the bag and maybe we are struggling a little bit more this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing where we are tomorrow.”

Ferrari has been struggling with the setup on its cars this weekend, prompting Kimi Raikkonen to revert back to the specification that he used in Bahrain instead of running the new updates.

However, Vettel remains confident that Ferrari will be in a better position for the race on Sunday.

“I think we feel we should be in a good shape tomorrow for a good race, but I have to say that those two guys, they’re doing a good job,” he said.

“They’re quick, they’ve been very quick here in the winter and I think they confirmed that so far. So I hope tomorrow, as I said, we can be a bit closer but we’ll see.”

The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.