Ferrari was the only team to seriously threaten Mercedes at times during the 2015 season, with Vettel winning three races on his way to third place in the drivers' championship. While Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes the chasing pack has an "enormous gap" to try and close, Vettel is confident Ferrari can do so.
"I think in the end it’s very simple: we’ve made big steps this year, we’ve got closer to Mercedes but not near enough to say we’re within reach," Vettel said. "We’re still not the favourites and our target is to change that, we need to improve the car and the Power Unit, because we’re still a bit down in both areas.
"The reason why Mercedes had another great year is not just the Power Unit or just because of the car, it’s a combination of things. They have a great car and they were able to improve their car significantly from last year and there’s point in talking about the engine because we know how strong it is. We expect them to keep on going, so everyone who wants to challenge and beat them has to do better.
"That’s our target, to try and come out with a stronger car and a stronger Power Unit. A strong Power Unit it’s not just more power, it’s other things too. I don’t know what happens behind other people’s closed doors but I know what’s happening in Maranello and it’s very promising. But we have to put the car on the track to see where we are."
Vettel was this week praised by Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne for showing more team spirit in his first year at the team than Fernando Alonso showed in five seasons.
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