Asked whether he believes the team can close the 0.6-second gap to Mercedes they had in second practice, Vettel said: “Well right now, no. But it’s up to us to obviously develop and work so that the car gets faster. That’s what we have to do.
“I think we’re lacking overall grip, lacking downforce compared to others, we’re lacking a little bit down the straights, our car is a bit too draggy at the moment. So it’s a mix of all these things.”
Team mate Charles Leclerc gave a similar assessment of the car, saying there is no one area where it is particularly weak.
“The thing that is difficult is that the balance is actually not that bad,” he said. “It’s not completely out of place for now. So we need to work quite hard to try and catch up on overall performance.”
The car’s weakness isn’t just its straight-line performance, admitted Leclerc. “It’s also the speed in the corners. We seem to lose compared to the others.
“Then the balance feels quite good but the overall grip of the car… I guess it’s not only one thing, it’s also the full package that we need to upgrade.
“But we’ll try different ways for tomorrow to try to make work the car in a different way and see whether we can gain some performance.”
2020 F1 season
- Bottas vs Rosberg: Hamilton’s Mercedes team mates compared after 78 races each
- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton