Sebastian Vettel may have finished third behind the two Mercedes drivers for the seventh time this season in Brazil on Sunday, but the German driver believes that Ferrari has made up more ground at the front of the field.
Vettel endured a trouble-free race en route to third place on Sunday at Interlagos, finishing 6.5 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in second and 14.2 down on winner Nico Rosberg.
Vettel said on Saturday that he was confident Ferrari could “create a miracle” and challenge Mercedes for the win on Sunday, but after failing to get the jump on the Silver Arrows at the start and struggling to stay with them during the first stint, his hopes faded.
However, he believes that Ferrari cut the gap to Mercedes in Brazil, giving him hope heading to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“I think it was a good race for us,” Vettel said. “I was hoping at the start maybe we could do something but it wasn’t possible. I think the start was okay but it wasn’t any better than Lewis or Nico’s.
“After that, I thought about halfway through the first stint that maybe we could stay with them, but then they started to pull away.
“Overall I think we have to admit they were just a bit quicker, but I think we’re probably closer here than many races before in terms of race pace, only maybe one, two or three-tenths at a time. I think in the last stint we were even a bit quicker.
“Overall it felt like a good race, but for sure it wasn’t very exciting. We were a bit in no-mans land and didn’t have anyone to fight with. Hopefully at the next race we can again be a bit closer.”