One analysis early in 2017 might be that while the German is now leading the world championship, his red car might actually be best suited to hotter venues like Melbourne and Bahrain.
But ahead of the next calendar stop in Russia, La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Vettel as saying: “I do not think we will have problems in Sochi due to there being lower temperatures than in Bahrain.
“In China, it was cool and we were competitive,” he insisted.
“Our task is to keep putting pressure on our opponents, primarily Lewis Hamilton. Until now, Ferrari has had perfect tactics but we need to keep concentrating fully on the job.”
I think we [Ferrari – Mercedes] are about equal – Wolff
Following first three rounds, it is now clear that the world of Formula 1 has a real championship battle on its hands.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beat the two Mercedes in Bahrain, reassuring president Sergio Marchionne that the Italian team’s resurgence really is true.
“We are now completely confident that our victory in Melbourne wasn’t just a one-off,” he said.
Indeed, Mercedes’ Toto Wolff thinks the silver and red cars are closely matched for ultimate pace.
“I think we are about equal,” he said. “Perhaps over one lap we have a slight advantage, but the Ferrari works a little better with the tyres.”
Still, team chairman Niki Lauda thinks Mercedes could have won on Sunday.
“There were several factors that prevented us from doing more,” he said. “We had a problem in the pitstop, Lewis had the five-second penalty, and Valtteri had too much pressure in his tyres.
“But there is no discussion — Vettel was the best and Ferrari had the best strategy. We seem to have a really exciting world championship,” Lauda added.