The German will start from fifth on the grid, directly behind the two Red Bulls after Mercedes locked out the front row in qualifying on Saturday. Having jumped into the lead from the second row at the Hungaroring a year ago, Vettel admits it is a tall order to try and repeat the trick but hopes to gain on the two cars ahead of him.
“It’s not impossible but obviously its 60 metres more to get into the lead," Vettel said. "I think it is a long race, the start is very important. Obviously we hope for a good start and hope that the other people struggle a bit in front of us and then we see, it’s a long race.
"For sure it’s very difficult to overtake here. In terms of race pace I think it will be difficult to really fight or challenge Mercedes but equally why not? I think it is going to be hot but the question is how much free air we get.
"I think our main rivals are right in front of us, is the Red Bulls. I think in the race we can be faster than them but obviously if you start behind it’s very difficult to pass a car that clearly you are only one, two, three tenths only faster, not two seconds. Here you need a bit more of an advantage to overtake.”
And Vettel believes he should have been starting higher up the grid but for traffic on his final lap in qualifying.
“Unfortunately when the car came alive I wasn’t able to put the lap in, we had the yellow flag in the middle sector and then I ran into traffic. Both cars that I faced, I think they could have done a better job at getting out of the way. By the time that I was in the last sector I had lost so much time that there was no point to go into the last corner at full speed.”