Sebastian Vettel says it will be a “big surprise” if Mercedes struggle as much this weekend as they did in Singapore.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified on the third row in Singapore, 1.4 seconds off Vettel’s pace, despite Mercedes having taken pole position at every other race this year.
Vettel told reporters in Japan he doesn’t expect Mercedes to have another difficult weekend.
“You have to remain realistic,” said Vettel. “I think in a way it was a big surprise to see Mercedes struggling which I don’t expect being the case here, again it would be a big surprise.”
“But if the chance is there we have to go for it,” he added.
“The nature of the track is completely different here. We have to wait, the weather could bring a lot of surprises as well so it could be a tough weekend.”