Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel believes he and Ferrari will have to overcome a significant performance deficit to beat Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Despite his victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, the four-time champion arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to play down hopes that it will be a straightforward task to win again on Sunday.
“If you look at the pace in testing and at the first race, it's pretty clear that Mercedes is fastest, probably with a three- or fourth-tenths' gap," he said.
“That's what we saw in the race. Obviously, Lewis was controlling his pace in the beginning and then he pushed when he had to. He had time in hand. I think that's the fair answer.”
Hamilton secured his 73rd career pole position in Melbourne with a luxurious advantage of six-tenths of a second ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.