Sebastian Vettel does not expect Mercedes to struggle as it did in Singapore last Sunday at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, believing that he and Ferrari are poised for a “tough weekend”.
Vettel claimed his third grand prix victory of the 2015 Formula 1 season at Marina Bay with a dominant display, going lights-to-flag as Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ran off the pace all weekend.
The win reignited Vettel’s faint hopes of winning a fifth world championship in 2015, but the German expects Mercedes to return to the front of the field this weekend and resume its dominance in the sport.
“I think you have to remain realistic,” Vettel said. “In a way it was a big surprise to see Mercedes struggling, which I don’t expect to be the case here. It would be a big surprise.
“But if the chance is there we have to go for it. As I said, the nature of the track is completely different here. We’ll have to wait. The weather could bring a lot of surprises as well. It’s going to be a tough weekend.”
Vettel has finished on the podium in all six of his previous appearances at Suzuka, standing on the top step on four occasions with Red Bull, and its old school nature makes it one of his favorite tracks to race at.
“I love the track, it’s a driver’s circuit,” Vettel said. “I think we all love the track. It’s one of the old school circuits on the calendar. It’s a lot of fun.
“If you want to know what a Formula 1 car can do then the first sector I would say sums it up and says pretty much all. In my point of view, [it’s] the best track in the world and great fun to be here.”