- Canadian GP - FP2
Encouraging pace but still not enough - Vettel
Sebastian Vettel says he is encouraged by Red Bull's practice pace in Canada despite his early gearbox issues, but thinks a lot of work will still be needed this weekend to put up a genuine challenge to Mercedes.
Vettel finished FP2 four tenths off the pace of Lewis Hamilton after a late run on the supersoft tyres, an encouraging sign at a track where Mercedes power should have the edge over Renault. Friday times can of course be misleading but Vettel is happy with what he was able to do after struggling with gearbox issues.
"I think so," Vettel said when asked if his FP2 pace was encouraging. "It was a bit of a shame to lose so many laps, on my side we had an issue with the gearbox but fortunately we could go out again. We were a little off the rhythm compared to other people but we seemed to be alright.
"We still got some good laps in but there's still a lot of improvement we can do. We will try and find as much as possible but obviously the Mercedes are very, very quick around here."
Despite the long straights in Montreal not favouring Red Bull and Renault Vettel believes he can be competitive all weekend.
When asked about comments made by team principal Christian Horner that Red Bull hoped to challenge for a "top five" position this weekend, Vettel joked: "Well, that could be anything - top five also includes first and second!
"It's obviously a tricky track for us, we know that. It has been hard for us to go in straight lines, we are not the quickest down the straights but there's no point repeating that all the time, it is what it is. We've got to make sure we set the car up right in the corners so we catch up as much as we can."
Vettel confirmed his gearbox issues were not serious enough to concern him going into Saturday.
"We had a problem with the gearbox so we had to check it and run again to get a feeling. Fortunately we could carry on but we did lose some time."