Mexican Sergio Perez was a remarkable third in the second practice for Force India but still 0.627 off the pace and complaining at the end of the session that his car’s brakes burned out.
Daniel Ricciardo set fourth fastest ahead of Vettel – who managed fifth fastest – admitted it was an surprising challenge from Force India.
“All in all it’s Friday so I think we can still improve and we have to improve,” he said.
“We are a little too far behind, I would like the gap to be smaller and also the gap to be bigger compared to the cars behind. Force India is surprisingly quick and also the Red Bulls, there is a lot of work for us.”
Vettel thinks Ferrari can cut some of the gap to the front before qualifying but is wary of the early pace demonstrated by Mercedes.
“I don’t know, today is Friday. They looked very quick as usual – unfortunately – but we will try our best. I think we can improve ourselves and then we will see where we are tomorrow.”
The German pleased Ferrari’s arrangements are on track for Sunday regardless of the pace of others.
“[The soft tyre] seemed okay, fairly consistent. Obviously we split the work as usual so I am happy to find out what Kimi says but I think we should be reasonably well prepared for Sunday.”