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Ferrari realistic for GP Russia: Vettel wants to be on the podium in Sochi

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Ferrari realistic for GP Russia
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I n the previous year, things didn't go well for Sebastian Vettel in Sochi . Back then on Red Bull, the Heppenheimer was only eighth in the race. Once again behind, his then team-mate Daniel Ricciardo defeated him.

Vettel sees no tire advantage

In 2015, however, Vettel is known to be in a Ferrari and has already raced to three wins of the season. Some in the paddock believe that the Russian GP is a good opportunity for the four-time F1 world champion to top up his account with four successes in red. Because, unlike in 2014, Pirelli has brought the two softest mixes off the shelf for the 5.848-kilometer circuit. Like in Singapore, where Vettel triumphed.

But in his press round on Thursday afternoon, the Heppenheimer didn't want to know anything about a tire advantage. “Sochi is a completely different track from Singapore.” And: “We saw in the last race that Mercedes is still the favorite.” Nevertheless, they want to annoy Mercedes. But the target is the podium.

The third longest track on the Formula 1 calendar presented the teams with a special challenge last year: Nobody managed to ignite the rubbers on the first attempt. Instead, the drivers needed several laps because of the smooth asphalt until the rollers were up to temperature .

High fuel consumption means different driving style

'Sochi is not an easy route when it matters Bringing everything together, 'says Vettel.' The gaps were very large last year. In 2014, the asphalt surprised us all. The tires lasted a very long time. This weekend it will be important to get the car into the right working window on Friday. '

That could be difficult. Some weather stations are forecasting rain for the first day of training.' Maybe we won't be able to use the dry tires at all 'says Vettel.' The weather could play a big role. '

The GP Russia is demanding in another respect. The relatively high full-load share of 61 percent forces the teams to save fuel.' That works because the drivers have to adapt their style accordingly and, for example, lift their foot on the accelerator before they step on the brakes. Keyword 'lift and coast'. And what else has an influence on driving behavior? 'The high pressures', Vettel pushes in. Pirelli picks upcompared to the previous year by 2.5 PSI to 21.5 PSI at the front and 20.5 at the rear.

Red Bull exit would be a 'shame' for Formula 1

In the World Cup Vettel still has mathematical chances. After 14 of 19 races he is 59 points behind Lewis Hamilton. Although he does not indulge in illusions, he still does not want to know anything about a complete shift of development resources to the coming season. 'It's easy to calculate the probability. But things can turn out differently on the track. We still have the chance to achieve a lot. We should take advantage of that.'

A big topic of conversation is in the Sochi paddock Red Bull's possible F1 exit. Vettel cleared everything with the shower manufacturer from 2010 to 2013. 'It would be a shame if Red Bull left Formula 1 and two or four cars were gone,' said the Ferrari star.

Should Ferrari therefore offer Red Bull engines for 2016, and not just as before the 2015 spec? 'Fortunately, I don't make such decisions. I'm glad I'm just the driver.'

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