It’s not easy catching Mercedes: Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has applauded Ferrari for turning around its difficult Friday at the Hungaroring to qualify third, but has admitted it’s frustrating not to be able to catch Mercedes.

Vettel and Ferrari suffered crappy Friday practice sessions, with Kimi Räikkönen’s car developing a water leak and having its front wing collapse while Vettel was kept in his garage with power unit problems.

“I’m proud that we managed to remain calm after a bad day yesterday to turn it around and come out with the optimum result today,” said the German. “[But] it’s not nice to always have the same cars in front of you!

“I think there’s a lot of people hoping for a change — we’re pushing very hard — but it’s not that easy.

“They’re doing a good job, the whole team — they’ve got a good car and a very good engine, but also the two drivers are doing well.

“It’s not that easy, but I’m confident that one day it will happen. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll see — obviously here a lot of things can happen, so let’s wait.

“Remaining realistic, you have to say that Mercedes is very strong, and normally it’d be very tough to beat them. “

Snatching second place or even victory — as he did in Malaysia earlier in the season — might be Ferrari’s goal, but the fight is more likely to come from behind after Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourth.

While track position is important around the narrow Budapest circuit, Vettel won’t have Räikkönen to back him up, with the Australian splitting the pair.

“It will be a close race, looking behind,” acknowledged Vettel. “They had a very good day yesterday.

“If you compare only yesterday, then they were stronger than us just because we had a rough day, so it’s not entirely fair.

“There’s bit of guessing to be done for tomorrow, but expect us to have good pace.

“It’s usually quite crucial to qualify higher up, which we’ve managed, and now we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”