FORMULA 1 MOTORSPORT NEWS

F1 points leader Vettel says Chinese GP is ‘a difficult race to predict’

Formula 1 points leader Sebastian Vettel still believes that Mercedes is the team to beat ahead of the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix this weekend. Vettel won for Ferrari in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 26, but he vows not to get ahead of himself with talk of a fifth world title, saying that he’ll take things one race at a time — the same tactic used by 2016 champion Nico Rosberg.
“I think Mercedes still has to be the favorite, obviously,” said Vettel. “We had a very, very strong first race. At least the way we look at it inside the team is to look at it race by race. We know there’s a lot of things that we need to do to keep up with them and keep the position that we are in now, to fight for good races.

Reflecting on the team performance in Melbourne, Vettel added, “I think of the entire team, I think it was a great weekend, including myself obviously. With the new generation of cars, generally the first race of the season with a new car, there’s always a lot of work that goes into the whole project, and it’s the best way to kick off the season. When I came back to the factory, people were generally very happy and motivated to push even harder, which obviously is what we need. It’s just the first race, so it doesn’t mean much, but for sure, as I said, it’s the best way to start off.”

The second round of the 2017 Formula 1 season is on tap this weekend with the F1 Chinese Grand Prix from Shanghai.Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel comes into the race fresh from a season-opening win at …

 Vettel, a four-time Formula 1 champion, has just one victory at the Shanghai International Circuit, winning the 2009 event for Red Bull Racing.

While lap times were an improvement on recent years in Australia, more had been expected from the radical design changes in 2017, but Vettel anticipates an improvement in China.

“We’re going faster, but if you look compared to 10 years ago, you must not forget that we have a lot more fuel in the car,” Vettel said. “We are on the tires for longer, providing they last, and in general, the cars are heavier. If you talk about load and high-speed corners, they are the fastest cars we’ve ever had. I think for more or less all of us, the step from last year has been quite big. Melbourne historically hasn’t been the most physical track, so I’m sure there will be tracks that will be more physical, but it’s been tougher than last year.

“It’s always a Grand Prix full of surprises, the Chinese Grand Prix, since the day I can remember; in 2007, I think I had my first race here. I started 17th or 18th in the Toro Rosso, and I finished fourth. We had the rain helping us at that time. You never know what happens around here. It’s a demanding track with the cars, the tires in particular, but also the drivers with the conditions, so (it’s) impossible to predict anything.”