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Vettel confident Ferrari engine issues resolved for China

14 Apr 2016

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is certain this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix will see no recurrence of the engine problems which saw him fail to take the start last time out in Bahrain.

Vettel was forced to pull over on the Sakhir formation lap with smoke pouring from his SF16-H, but the German says the team have resolved the matter for Shanghai.

“It was a little part that caused the problem and turned into the biggest possible consequence,” he explained. “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.

“Yes, 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.”

With team mate Kimi Raikkonen having retired from the opening round in Australia, Ferrari have had a troubled start to their 2016 campaign and already trail Mercedes by 50 points in the constructors’ standings.

Vettel admitted it has not been ideal and that it might just be the price Ferrari have had to pay for upping their development speed in their bid to catch the world champions.

“If you try to make bigger steps forward, mistakes can slip in - but that’s no big drama if you learn from it and recover immediately. The important thing is that lightning doesn’t strike twice at the same spot! That would be rather silly.”

The four-time champion also insisted he remains confident there is plenty of untapped potential in Ferrari’s 2016 car - and of the team’s ability to unlock that potential.

“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.

“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 lies sixth in the 2016 driver standings on 15 points, thanks to his third place in Melbourne. Raikkonen is fourth on 18 after his second place in Bahrain.