Sebastian Vettel has no concerns about the reliability of Ferrari’s power unit heading into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix in spite of the failures suffered in Australia and Bahrain.
Vettel failed to start in Bahrain two weeks ago after his engine failed on the formation lap, while teammate Kimi Raikkonen was sidelined in Australia by a similar issue.
Vettel has moved on to his second internal combustion engine of the season for this weekend’s race in China, and has no concerns about the problems repeating themselves.
“It was a little part that caused the problem and turned into the biggest possible consequence,” Vettel said of his Bahrain issue.
“That was a shame. Obviously we have a new engine for this weekend and as I just said I don’t expect that issue to come up again.
“It’s a bit annoying that an engine went bust, but if you learn from that and can make sure that it will not happen again then you can live with it.”
Vettel is nevertheless happy with the Ferrari SF16-H car for the season ahead, believing it to be more workable than his 2015 runner.
“The performance is not yet where we want it to be, so you could say that there are some negatives, but there is nothing that shakes me or makes me nervous for the next couple of races, or the entire season,” Vettel said.
“This team is very strong and I know that we can improve a lot. The potential is there. Now let’s bring all the ingredients together – hopefully sooner rather than later.
“I know that there is a lot coming. This year’s car allows us to play much more than last year’s car.”
Vettel finished second in practice on Friday behind Raikkonen, and is pleased with how the SF16-H car is shaping up heading into the rest of the weekend.
“Friday is not so important in terms of position but in terms of feeling. We had a decent day and the feeling with the car was ok, but we can still improve, especially the balance,” Vettel said.
“Tonight we’ll have a lot of work to do, in order to get on top of everything. For sure to go for pole is always our goal, but it’s only Friday so I would’t stress too much.
“This track is quite brutal on tires, I was sliding a lot and there was a lot of degradation. I looked at Kimi’s data and saw where he was faster.
“This afternoon we had different programmes and this is useful to make a comparison because we can learn from each other.”
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.