Vettel: Wrong to assume Ferrari can now win everywhere

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF90 makes a pit stop.
08.09.2019. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd

Sebastian Vettel has moved to extinguish talk of Ferrari being favourites in Russia, despite the team having won the last three races in Belgium, Italy and Singapore.

Even though Vettel ended his 392-day win drought in Singapore – with Ferrari looking markedly different to their win-less first half of the season – the four-time champion claimed “it’s so difficult to say” what would happen in Sochi, a venue where Mercedes have won every race since the Russian Grand Prix' inauguration in 2014.

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“Certainly it gave us a lot of confidence, because Singapore was not expected to be that strong,” he said. “The new parts worked really well and seemed to give us an edge, so hopefully we can come here and be equally strong in terms of fighting for pole and hopefully in the race as well. I definitely believe there are things we can, and must, do better, but it was a good step.”

Yet despite Ferrari having apparently found an answer as to why their upgrades weren’t delivering as expected through the first half of the season, Vettel was keeping his feet firmly on the ground ahead of the Russian Grand Prix.

“There are a lot of positives, other than the result [in Singapore], going forwards,” he said. “I think overall it is definitely heading in the right direction, but it would be wrong to think that now because we’ve won on two different types of tracks, that we can win everywhere.

I think Mercedes still have been in a position to win every race in a way this year, so they are the ones to beat and they are the benchmark

Sebastian Vettel

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“I think Mercedes still have been in a position to win every race in a way this year, so they are the ones to beat and they are the benchmark.

“That’s where we want to be and ideally ahead of that, and not just there. There’s still a lot of work in front of us but it also shows that if things are going in the right way, it doesn’t take much to click.”

The contest is clearly very much still open. But, with Leclerc and Vettel firmly on form, there’s no doubt that we have a scintillating battle between the Scuderia and the Silver Arrows on the cards. There’s just the tough task of ending Mercedes’ golden record at this former Olympic venue.

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