• Bahrain Grand Prix - FP2

McLaren and Williams look strong - Vettel

ESPN Staff
April 4, 2014 « Pirelli raises concerns over 2015 tyre blanket ban | Mercedes 'feels really good' - Hamilton »
Sebastian Vettel was off the pace of his team-mate in FP2 © Sutton Images
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Sebastian Vettel admits he is more concerned about the rest of the Mercedes-powered teams in Bahrain after being impressed with McLaren and Williams in Friday's practice sessions.

Vettel finished third in Malaysia and came to Bahrain looking to cement Red Bull's position as the best of the rest. But the Mercedes-powered teams all impressed in the Bahrain tests and all showed glimpses of pace again on Friday, while the factory team was way out in front. Vettel is not ready to make a prediction about Saturday or Sunday but admits he expects competition from more than just Ferrari this weekend.

"[Mercedes] are very quick," Vettel said. "It's not a surprise as they looked very quick in the testing here. I think also other teams look very strong again, McLaren and Williams at first glance. But today was just about ourselves, just like the last few weeks to be honest. We are trying to learn and understand more about the car and there's still a lot of progress to be made. I think we learned at the testing that Mercedes is very strong around this track and they have proven today they are quite quick. It will be a long way for us to catch up but in the long term it's important for us to make bigger steps than them. Today was a good, solid day for us."

When asked whether Red Bull expected to continue to bridge the gap with Mercedes, Vettel was unequivocal in his belief that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will be in a race of their own on Sunday.

"That would be very soon, it's only one week. It's very difficult to say where we are in terms of pace but it's very easy to say we are not with Mercedes."

Vettel also feels boosted by the news that there were signs of "consciousness and awakening" for Michael Schumacher.

"I'm always a bit careful with second-hand information but it's very good to hear it's going in the right direction. There's still a long process ahead of him so we need to be careful. It's good to hear after many, many weeks of no news. I wish all the best to him and his families and hopefully we keep hearing over the next weeks."