Vettel hopes for Bahrain battle with Mercedes

Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:53pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MANAMA (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton expects resurgent Ferrari to be hard to beat in Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel hopes to prove him right.

After the pair qualified on the front row on Saturday, with Hamilton on pole for the fourth race in succession for Mercedes, Vettel told reporters his Italian team had taken another important step.

"We are trying to push on all areas but for now I think we can be very, very happy with where we are," said the four-times champion, who has been on the podium in all three races for Ferrari since he left Red Bull.

"Today is the first time we were able to split them (the Mercedes drivers) in true dry conditions in qualifying, so very happy."

Hamilton's team mate Nico Rosberg qualified third, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

"I think in the race we are maybe a bit closer, so we will see what happens," Vettel added.

"We are progressing as a team. For this race we didn’t bring any updates in particular, so it’s really that the circuit is maybe a little bit better for us.

"And...continuously working with the car, getting on top of what to do with the car and learning how the changes are reacting on track. So, I think that’s the area where we are making most progress at the minute."   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One Driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the second free practice ahead of Bahrain's F1 Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit, south of Manama, April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah