• Red Bull

No guarantee of 2015 Mercedes challenge - Vettel

ESPN Staff
July 9, 2014 « Bianchi quickest at second day of Silverstone test | 18-inch tyres will present 'big challenge' for teams - Pic »
Sebastian Vettel returned to Silverstone for Wednesday's test © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel has suggested Red Bull's current rate of development is not at the level it needs to be if the team is to enter 2015 on an even keel with Mercedes.

Red Bull still appears to be a way off catching Mercedes this year, with the Renault power unit limiting its competitiveness at the recent flurry of power-hungry circuits.

When asked whether he believes Red Bull can be on a level par with Mercedes in 2015, Vettel said: "It's difficult to say, right now the gap is very big and we didn't really close the gap since race one, obviously we have tried lots of things to improve but they do the same thing. We need bigger steps of development to close the gap even more. I think at the end of the season we can judge a little better what we need to do during the winter."

On the subject of the rumoured FRIC suspension ban set to be implemented by the FIA, Vettel said he does not know whether the issue will create a more level playing field with Mercedes this season.

"We know what we are running but we don't know what they are running. It's pretty clear what the FIA has said and probably some teams will be more affected than other teams."

A misjudged tyre strategy cost Vettel a place on the podium at Silverstone but he is targeting his home grand prix for a strong result to get his season back on track.

"It's difficult to say [a prediction], I think it has been a bit up and down this year. Obviously we hope for a smooth weekend without any problems and try to get the best out of myself, out of the car, it will be very special to finish on the podium there."

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