Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda told Italian magazine Autosprint, since Ferrari introduced its upgraded engine at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix, the team had “matched us in terms of power and efficiency”.
“The 20bhp advantage we had is now gone. Now we are at the same level of power. We know for certain because of the reference we have.”
But four-time world champion Vettel denied the Lauda’s latest claim
“As a fact we are not yet a match otherwise this season would have been very different,” he said during Thursday’s press conference for the Brazilian GP.
“But I’m very happy with the season so far, with the progress we’ve made, and also with the things I think we have in the pipeline for the future.”
“Now Niki is usually is not the best one to trust as he changes his opinion very quickly. Sometimes what he says makes sense and other times it doesn’t make any sense.
“The more he’s talking about us, the better it is for us, because he can feel that maybe we’re coming so hopefully that’s good news.”
Vettel remains realistic about Ferrari’s chances of beating Mercedes next season.
“I can see what’s happening in the background, the work that has gone into this year, the work that is going into next year back in the factory, back in Maranello with all the people,” the German added.
“It looks promising and I think we should be able to make a good step forward.
“Now, obviously the most important day is when you put the new car on the track and you see what it does – but that’s still a bit far away.
“For now I think we have two races left and we want to do well and ideally get the best possible results here and in Abu Dhabi.”