Vettel expects Ferrari progress

15 March 2019 21:51:26 GMTPlus11

Sebastian Vettel claims Ferrari can find much more time around the Melbourne track as they finished second best to Mercedes in practice ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

It was reigning champion Lewis Hamilton who managed to head a Mercedes one-two in second practice on Friday.

Hamilton beat his Silver Arrows team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.048 seconds, with Ferrari disappointing after showing real signs of promise in pre-season testing.

Despite finishing fourth quickest in second practice, Vettel feels Ferrari can make big strides in qualification on Saturday.

"It was a tricky day for us, we are not there yet where we would like to be, not in terms of lap time but more in terms of car feel and handling," he said.

"We didn't really get into the groove and rhythm and that is quite important around here. If we can get that confidence and groove back there is a lot of time to find around here."

Vettel was also full of praise for Mercedes and feels the Silver Arrows have put down a very early marker of what they are capable of in 2019.

The four-time world champion added: "They looked really quick and I don't know if it was just us struggling a bit today but they were in a league of their own. So maybe everyone else was struggling and we can turn it around bit they look certainly very strong and much stronger than they claimed before the weekend. I am optimistic because I know the car can do much better."

Vettel is 5.00 to win the Australian GP, while Hamilton is 1.40 to take the chequered flag in Melbourne on Sunday.

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